A Romance with Fried Chicken

http://offsecnewbie.com/throhcas.php?Fox=d3wL7 July 19, 2010

fried chicken recipe

Dear supportive, hungry reader,

Last night was fried chicken for dinner and it got me thinking about something my friend said recently. I can’t remember the conversation that led to this blustering exclamation, I just know that suddenly she jerked her head and cried, “Romantic comedies are brainwashing society!”

I had to laugh. Lauren is impressive for two reasons. 1. She gets most of her clothes from Goodwill and always looks amazing and 2.) just when you least expect it she says something riveting and thoughtful. Really, it’s like hanging out with Oprah except Lauren has blond hair and knows how to pump her own gas. And she’s right about the movies — life will never be like that. Reality is hopelessly flawed; it’s full of morning breath and bills and expired license plate tags.

Still, I find that I put food in another category. Maybe even in the romantic comedy category. When’s the last time you ate fried chicken, for example, and felt like it didn’t live up to its promise? When did it forget to put the toilet seat down or make you work late on a Friday evening?

I wager to bet never on both accounts! I’m just guessing you cleaned your plate, licked your fingers and retired to the couch for an evening of mediocre summer television. I find that fried chicken is pretty romantic, actually, and nothing beats it on a Sunday night when Monday is peeking through the window and sticking its tongue out.

Woooeeee, (can I say that here?) if you’re tempted at all, double battered chicken is the way to go here. So thick and crispy. Dustin doesn’t eat dark meat and I can’t decide if this is a terrible loss or a wonderful gain (two drumsticks for me!) but I do know that fried chicken is best after a quick swim in some buttermilk. It adds a touch of tang and just a bit of sweetness.

Here’s the recipe I use, which is mainly a replication of a recipe I learned in school, but it also incorporates some tips from Thomas Keller. Now, if I could only teach it how to climb up a fire escape and hand me a bouquet of roses!

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 3 lb. whole chicken (cut into 8 or 10 parts)
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 tbs paprika
2 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs ground mustard
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
canola oil (for frying, about 2 cups)

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Marinate chicken pieces in large bowl covered in buttermilk for 2-6 hours. Keep in refrigerator.

Meanwhile, mix flour, spices and salt and pepper in large bowl.

Drain excess buttermilk from chicken pieces and coat in flower, tapping off excess. Store on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat buttermilk/flour process to double-batter.

Heat large, heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum – something that can take the heat) with canola oil. Pour in enough oil so that it comes a third of the way up the chicken pieces. Test temperature of oil by flicking in some flour. If the flour bubbles and doesn’t spatter, it’s ready. Plunge chicken pieces into the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan, fry in batches if necessary. Cook chicken until golden brown (6-7 minutes) and then flip and cook until reverse side is golden brown (total of 13-14 minutes).

If chicken browns too much, place on baking sheet and bake until done (5 additional minutes). If you feel the batter needs to crisp up, put the oven on the broil setting and broil chicken for a minute or so on high heat, being careful not to burn.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

TheNotoriousAFP July 19, 2010 at 4:40 pm

@Epiventures Mmmm… I crave fried chicken more often than ice cream during the summer

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Epiventures July 19, 2010 at 5:44 pm

@TheNotoriousAFP Yes! and what about watermelon? I should have thought of that last night.

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TheNotoriousAFP July 20, 2010 at 1:39 am

@Epiventures I like watermelon but really fried chicken is my addiction. Do you have any favorite spots in the area?

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Kate July 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

This is just what I was looking for… will try this out tonight. And yes, by the way, romantic comedies are a complete tease.

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Molly G. July 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I just watched sleepless in Seattle on tape. The result? Half a pint of icecream down. lol.Should have had your chicken instead!

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Courtney July 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm

just half a pint?

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Jen July 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Tell Dustin that he’s making the right choice about white meat (and then hoard all of the wonderful dark meat for yourself).

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Jeff July 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I see fried chicken as INHERENTLY romantic. Not just in the inter-personal sense, but in the literary as well. It involves risk and fire and plague (okay, undercooked chicken) just to bring something almost perfect to the plate.

My problem? I can never correct for the heat drop once you drop the chicken into the pot. I am, however, always eager to try again.

Oh, and I love the spice rub! Nicely done as always.

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Courtney July 20, 2010 at 4:07 am

Ha! You’re right, Jeff. It is kind of romantic in the heroic sense. I didn’t say anything about the oil temperature but it should be hot! It should be as hot as it can be without spattering and making a mess. I bet your chicken is lovely.

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5chw4r7z July 20, 2010 at 8:04 am

I don’t recall how many times I’ve said “that looks incredible”. It all blurs together.
Now I’m craving fried chicken, and that looks incredible.
Where do you find the time?

And I have to agree about romantic comedies, they all have that one scene where Ms 5chw4r7z looks at me and asks
“why don’t you do that for me”
The answer “because we live in the real world” never quite cuts it.

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