Saturday, October 6, 2007

Look everyone, I made you some fried chicken! there anything better than a batch of fried chicken? I didn't think so. I start by cutting up a whole chicken and soaking it in buttermilk overnight. This does two things, one, it makes a nice wet coating for the flour to stick to the chicken with, and secondly, the enzymes in the buttermilk will help to tenderize the chicken. Also, buttermilk I think adds a complexity of flavor that you just don't get with just plain milk.

Get some oil going in your electric skillet (I actually have some excellent cast iron pans that I absolutely love, but I have found that this cheapo skillet does such a good job with fried chicken, keeping the browning even on all the pieces with a minimal amount of moving the chicken around, not so much with my cast iron), I heat the oil to about 325-315. Some might think that's kind of low, and it is, but again, I have experimented quite a bit with this recipe, and have found cooking it slightly lower than the conventional wisdom would suggest, guarantees crispy brown outside, with a fully cooked inside. If this were boneless chicken pieces (like say boneless, skinless thighs, my favorites), then I would go for a higher oil temp such as 350 to 365, always remember bones slow down cooking time, factor it in when your cooking bone in meats. Make sure to prepare a dredging bowl with flour, salt and pepper, and I like to put Old Bay Seasoning in....I know, it's odd, but I shit you not it's good...reminds me of the 11 herbs and spices in the kernel's recipe (even though there chicken is crap, you have to admit to craving it once and awhile).

Once your oil has reached it's optimal temperature, lift your chicken one piece at a time out of the buttermilk, letting excess milk fall off the chicken (if you drop it in the flour too wet, you will get less yield from the flour), and then dredge it in your flour mix, placing the chicken skin side down into the hot oil.
After a few minutes (about 8 or 10 or so) you will notice blood peeking out around the bones of the chicken pieces, this means that the heat is getting into the center of the pieces, I check the undersides and see if there golden brown at this point, if so, it's time to flip em'.

Wow, that's looking good eh? Let it finish up (another 8 to 10 minutes on this side, until golden brown as well), and while it's doing it's thing, why don't you make a nice salad to go with it? It's been unseasonably warm here in Boston, so I decided to make cole slaw, sort of an indoor summer picnic dinner. A tiny gentleman in the background approves of my decision.

Some people use the bagged pre-cut slaw from the supermarket, but that's not for me, I hand cut the carrots and cabbage. They put a chemical on the bagged stuff to keep it fresh and the flavor disgusts me.
Drain off the excess oil on the chicken by letting it rest on some paper towels.
And then serve!
Last but not least a gratuitous photo of the toy Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein that my son got for his birthday. He loves to play with it, imagining all the adventures that the REAL Dr. goes on everyday.


Whiskeymarie said...

I love fried chicken but my jeans don't. Sigh. But when I do make it, I soak it in buttermilk too. It really does make it better.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Dude that looks sooooooo good but I'll have to pass. Love that toy.