Had a bit of a blogging withdrawal. I was an oh-so-wonderful girlfriend and lent my laptop to my dear so that he could use it during his days spent at the library studying for those nasty engineering finals. Phew! Those are now finished (for now) and my blogging life can continue.
So! I recently watched The Help. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to it, but I’m glad I finally did. Thoroughly enjoyed it and a little bummed out I didn’t read the book first…like I cheated on my literary self. Like I was saying, I really did enjoy it and when it was all said and done, I wanted fried chicken. All that talk about cooking perfect fried chicken stirred me up and I was pretty bummed I didn’t have any green tomatoes that I could fry with.
P.S. I don’t really like fried chicken.
That didn’t matter though because I was determined (just like the mac-n-cheese) to make fried chicken that I LOVED. Maybe I just had bad fried chicken? Unplanned and feverishly hungry, I got to work on it!
Recipe: A Ruth Dean creation ( the bastard child of Ruth Reichl’s recipe from Tender at the Bone and, heaven-help me, Paula Dean’s Southern Fried Chicken Recipe)
~ chicken of your choice (I used two chicken breasts that I sliced into strips)
~ 2 cups of flour separated
~ sea salt
~ freshly cracked pepper
~ 1 cup of vegetable shortening
~ 4 tbsp of unsalted butter
~ 2 cups of well-shaken buttermilk
~ 2 eggs
~ sriracha sauce
I wish I could have been legit about this and cooked it in a cast iron skillet but I do not own one; therefore it is not required but recommended. Do preheat the oven to 200°F and prepare a baking sheet with paper towels or parchment paper (to soak up the oils and) to keep the chicken warm while others are frying.
Place a cup of flour in a shallow dish (I used a plate) and set aside. In big dish (not a plate) like a casserole dish of sorts that will fit all wet ingredients and chicken: mix eggs and buttermilk together. Then add sriracha sauce until it is NICE AND ORANGE. The more orange = more spicy and flavour. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Follow this by coating the chicken in the flour set aside earlier. Now dredge chicken in your wet ingredients making sure all the chicken is covered. They can hang out in there for a bit.
Add the remaining flour to your shallow dish with a little extra salt and pepper. Also, heat shortening and butter in your big daddy skillet on moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. I like to test my dropping in a bit of wet flour. While it is heating up, take the wet chicken through the flour one more time to coat. (I’d use tongs if I were you.)
Once your skillet is at the right temp, get to cookin’. Start by adding a third of the chicken to the skillet, reducing the heat and covering while it cooks for about 10 minutes. Turn chicken halfway through cooking. Meat should be white in the center (duh!) and the juices clear when done. Place in the oven on the baking sheet. Repeat until there is no more chicken left.
Should look something like this:
Not the healthiest meal ever created but man I made some good fried chicken! In attempt to balance it out, I also whipped up some roasted broccoli and garlic. Setting the toaster oven to top heat (the real oven was preoccupied with warming chicken, remember? However, if you are lucky enough to have two ovens, 400° F to roast these puppies. I think it took around 20 minutes; typically I just fork my vegetables to check their tenderness. To roast, I distributed the broccoli over a baking sheet with about four garlic cloves cut in half, drizzled with olive oil, and salted and peppered. When serving, I couldn’t help but use a little freshly grated parmesan.
For dessert? We passed on Minnie’s chocolate pie.