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Return of the fried chicken

Do mostly to having crappy kitchens, I haven't made the family fried chicken in at least 4 years. Tried it tonight for M&C, and it came out quite well. More cayenne could have been called for, maybe less (rice, for wheat-allergic C) flour. But the chicken came out well and on time. The farmer's market sticks were a bit dry, don't know if that was inherent or due to being half the volume of the Tyson ones, which were just as juicy as expected.
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Recipe as taught to me: mix flour, garlic powder, cayenne powder, rosemary powdery, various other herbs, in a bag. Maybe half flour? No real proportions here. Want enough to coat the chicken. Don't want so much flour as to cut the seasonings, or get too icky as fried batter. My mother once said you can't have too much garlic powder, as the flavors fades a lot in cooking. I haven't pushed that statement to its ultimate limit.

Crack and mix an egg. Add a dash of milk, or soymilk. That step may not be necessary.

Coat chicken pieces in egg, put them in the bag. Shake the bag until they're coated in seasoning. Alternately roll each piece in the seasoning by hand, but that takes longer.

Put pieces in frying pans you've got oil or lard in, on decently high heat. Brown.

Now there's a fork. Done one way, you cook them all the way in the pan. Times here seem erratic.
Done another way, you put them in the oven at maybe 425-450 F, or pile them in a Dutch oven (my father, as my parents never repaired the oven). Tonight I did 15 minutes in the pan, 15 minutes in the oven. I then took out the largest drumstick, sliced into a lot to verify that the juice was running clear and not pink, and that pink flesh wasn't hiding inside, and declared them done.

Even when fully cooked, there may be bright red blobs.

A bonus invented by me is mixing some of the leftover seasoning with the leftover egg, and basically frying a griddle cake in the frying pan. This makes a flat, dense, and extremely flavorful cake. Unless you get the seasoning/egg ratio too high, in which case you have lots of clumps. I've yet to try that on its own; possibly the melted chicken fat adds to the flavor.

My parents used lots of chicken piece types. As a kid I always went for the drumsticks, because they had natural handles; as an adult, I know I like dark meat more, especially with commercial chicken where the breast meat is flavorless.

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Damien Sullivan
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