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Magnolia's Down South Egg Rolls

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  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chicken and Tasso. Saut?, stirring, for 5 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Squeeze all juice from the collard greens and add them to the frying pan. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes to heat the collards and meld all of the flavors. Pour into a colander and drain. Spread the mixture out onto a pan and let cool. Then squeeze out as much moisture as you can. You can easily do this by squeezing the mixture in a clean tea towel, in batches if necessary. The drier, the better.
  2. Lay the egg roll wrappers on a clean, dry surface dusted lightly with cornstarch, setting them up in a diamond pattern. Portion 3/4 cup of filling on the centers of each of the 8 wrappers. Place the 2 Tbsp of cornstarch in a small bowl and slowly add the cold water, stirring until you have a smooth paste which is free of lumps. Lightly brush the edges of each egg roll wrapper with the mixture of cornstarch and water. Fold the bottom quarter of the diamond up toward the top. Fold the two sides inward to form an envelope. Bring the top corner over toward you. Gently press the edges to seal the rolls. Lightly dust the egg rolls with cornstarch to keep them dry.
  3. Put the peanut or canola oil in a deep fryer or a deep frying pan. If you are using something smaller, use only enough oil to fill the fryer about three quarters of the way up the sides. Gradually heat the oil to 340° F by starting to heat it on medium heat and slowly increasing the heat to medium-high. Never put oil in any frying container and turn the heat on to high.
  4. Put only 4 egg rolls in the hot oil at the time. Too many egg rolls in the oil will bring down the temperature of the oil. Try to keep the temperature as close to 340° F as possible.
  5. Fry, turning frequently, until the egg rolls are golden brown and crispy. Initially you should try to keep the egg rolls submerged. As they brown, they will float to the top. If the oil is too hot, the egg roll skins will brown before the egg rolls become warm throughout. Remove the egg rolls from the oil and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve at once with Red Pepper Sauce, Spicy Mustard and Peach Chutney. For 8 egg rolls, you will need 1 1/2 cups of each accompaniment.
  7. NOTE: To use chicken thighs, which are less expensive, buy boneless and skinless thighs. Thigh meat will take longer to cook than breast meat. Expect to add another 1O minutes to the sauté procedure.
  8. Makes 8 egg rolls

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