Sunrise to Sunset in Key West

All over Key West, Florida, there’s an orchestra of roosters announcing each new day. There is no rest for RVers as these red-crowned alarm clocks begin their incessant cock-a-doodle-doos as early as 4:30 a.m. It’s like waking up on a farm.

During the day these feathered families are everywhere. Some outdoor cafes even have roosters, mother hens, and baby chicks strutting their stuff under the tables. As cute as they look in the bright Florida sun, in the early hours before dawn, we dream of them served on platters garnished with fresh Key limes.

Sunsets in this region are subdued and quiet in comparison. While standing with hundreds of others at Mallory Square, anticipation-filled chatter gives way to sudden respectful silence as the flaming ball spreads its colour across the sky and slips below the horizon. The air is instantly cooler and yawns become hard to suppress. After all, we have been awake since before dawn thanks to the roosters that are already asleep, perched in the trees, shrubs, and on rooftops, resting their vocal chords, dreaming of a new day.

Potato Crusted Chicken With Key Lime Butter Sauce (Makes 3 to 4 servings)


2 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose fl our
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups (430 ml) fresh shredded hash brown potatoes (often available in a 567 g bag in the grocery store fresh meat department)
2 to 3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 key limes, juiced


Cut each chicken breast into five equal pieces. Place chicken pieces between plastic wrap and pound each piece until very thin, but not falling apart. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic salt in a bowl. Mix well. Place the eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk until smooth.
Place the grated potatoes in a third bowl.
Use paper towels to remove any excess moisture from the potatoes. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
Dip each piece of chicken into the flour mixture. Shake away any excess flour. Dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture. Shake away any excess egg liquid. Place the chicken on top of the grated potatoes. Lightly cover the top of the chicken with potato. Some chicken should be visible through the potato covering.
Turn the chicken over in one hand. Remove any excess potato from the bottom of the chicken piece so that it too is lightly covered with potato.
Place the potato-coated chicken pieces into the heated oil. Cook on each side for 3 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. As the chicken cooks, place the lime juice in a small pan. Bring juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the butter and turn off the heat. Stir until the butter melts.
Place the crusted chicken pieces on a serving dish and spoon hot lime butter sauce over top.

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