Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Last Night

Last night I went to bed watching Secret Life of dot dot dot Fried Chicken on the Food Network.

BTW, you do need to say "dot dot dot," not just . . .

Jim O'Connor
is the host and should really just shut up and go sit in the corner. Sometimes he's fun, but seriously, I don't need to watch a 35-45 year old man running around like a decapitated chicken in the road. Take a pill boy.

All of that said, I finally fell asleep and was sooooo dang hungry when I woke up this morning, having dreamed of Fried Chicken all night.

I have a feeling that in the next five days or so, I will be making my own Fried Chicken. I am in the line of people who like my Fried Chicken served warm with warm sides. I usually go with Mashed Potatoes and Corn. I've never been fond of the potato salad/cold Fried Chicken picnic route. Must be my aversion to mayonnaise. Blech!

So anywho, here is my recipe for Fried Chicken, can't remember where I got the recipe, but it will give you some super crispy Fried Chicken.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Bear with me as I try to remember it all, I lost the text version on my 'puter.

Please note that this recipe has an 8-24 hour marinating time.

1-2 lbs Chicken parts (for this recipe, I actually prefer all legs)
1 quart Buttermilk
1 tsp Cayenne pepper

Clean the chicken of excess fat. Leave the skin on. Place in a bowl or large zip top bag. Cover with Buttermilk seasoned with Cayenne pepper. Let sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours to 24 hours. The Buttermilk adds a great flavor and helps keep the chicken super moist.

3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp Cayenne pepper
A pinch or two of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Combine the above ingredients in a medium/large bowl.

Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom skillet, cast iron is best, until it reaches 350 degrees. I do use a thermometer, but if you don't have one, test by dropping some flour in the oil, it will sizzle.

Remove the chicken from the Buttermilk and put in the bowl of flour, toss to coat. I like to give the chicken parts a bit of a squeeze to help give a thicker coat of flour on the chicken, for an extra crispy coating later.

Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil. Cook for ten minutes, then turn until golden, brown and delicious, about ten minutes more. You want an intenal temperture of 165. Remove to a rack to drain. Sprinkle with salt.

If the chicken is a little under done, place in a medium warm oven for a few minutes, about 350.

Now, on the important information regarding Fried Chicken...What about all that Fat!?!?!

Based on what our resident food geek says:
Immersion-frying is like a siege. The hot oil surrounds the food and looks for ways in. The water at the surface of the food defends its home by turning to vapor and pushing out in all directions (why most food seems to boil furiously at the beginning of the process), which is a good reason not to over-fill the vessel.

As the water vapor exits the food, it is replaced by moisture moving up from the food's interior. The same thing happens to the moisture in a baking potato, which explains why the center of a properly cooked french fry tastes pretty much like a baked potato.

As long as the oil provides enough heat (325-350 is ideal) and the moisture inside the food is sufficient to produce plenty of steam, the outside of the food gets crispy while the inside cooks without becoming greasy (it does in fact steam).

That said, if you cook to the point that all the steam exits the food, the oil then has the opportunity to enter the food, ergo, greasy fried chicken, blech.


DC Food Blog said...

Now you've got ME dreaming of fried chicken. I hate the Secret Life of Dot Dot Dot guy. He's so crazy affected.

ScottE. said...

This is one way I do the fried chicken, another, more simple way is just flour, egg, breadcrumbs...that way I reserve for the quick dinners at home and usually with the chicken tenderloins. I have a batter for shrimp I really like that I think would be great with chicken as well, but it would have to be tiny pieces, so the tender, light batter doesn't burn.


Brunette said...

Sometimes I find Jim entertaining; other times I want to slap some calm into him.

The chicken sounds yummy- better than the *salad* and *melon* I just had for lunch! I've tried a version that appears similar to yours, but with a bit of cumin added to the marinade and the coating. Served it chilled at a potluck cookout, and it flew off the tables!