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Chris Amirault

Fried Chicken--Cook-Off 5

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Here's a question. I don't have enough peanut oil. I just emptied a 750 ml bottle of peanut oil into my cast iron frying pan. It gives me a little over half an inch. Do I need to empty it and use some other kind of oil? Can I throw in some soya or canola oil or should I not mix the two types of oil.

Help!


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Mix away.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I just got back from Bed Bath & Beyond and bought this thermometer. I have been wanting one but this is the first time I have seen it at BB&B and the restaurant place was out of them last time I was there. While the design is fine, there is no way you are going to get it as deep as the immersion mark in a cast iron skillet. They say it will suffer some in accuracy if you don't get it that deep. It does have a guard to keep the tip from touching the bottom of the pan.

I have determined where the fat level will be on that thermometer and have e-mailed Taylor to see what they have to say about how much inaccuracy one could expect.

I got this reply from Taylor:

Taylor Model #5983 Candy/deep fry T/R accuracy is as followed:

+/- 2 deg. in candy cooking range, +/- 5 deg F balance of range.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Mix! No problem.

I also use cottonseed oil pretty regularly, but I don't think that it is generally available everywhere. It is indestructible, has not real flavor, and a high flashpoint.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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excellent. I've mixed it with some soya oil. No cottonseed oil to be found around here as far as I know!

This will be the last meal I cook in the old house. yay!


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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What an exit, Marlene.

"You know, honey . . . I really hate the lingering odor from frying. Let's move." :laugh:


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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This was great fun and i even had pics that came-out this time lol

Bought a 3.5 lb Fryer and cut it up into 8 pieces here it is in the buttermilk,tabasco,herbs and salt brine,Brined it for 24 hours

gallery_22379_974_56847.jpg

Out of the brine and into the seasoned flour,seasoned with cracked black pepper,kosher salt,cayenne,Old Bay,thyme and oregano

gallery_22379_974_25843.jpg

Deep Fried the pieces in a combo of peanut oil and Crisco

gallery_22379_974_64822.jpg

Made sides of cole slaw,macaroni and cheese and buttermilk biscuits,here is the mayo based dressing being added to the shredded cabbagegallery_22379_974_157780.jpgHere is the finished cole slawgallery_22379_974_120808.jpg

Here is the finished macaroni and cheesegallery_22379_974_44021.jpg

And here is all the components before being wolfed down,It was Delicious!!gallery_22379_974_185193.jpgIt was a lot of fun and i thank everyone for this

Regards,

Dave s


"Food is our common ground,a universal experience"

James Beard

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Dirty rice (aka rice dressing) is one hot side dish that is popularly served with fried chicken in my neck of the woods. Perfect solution as to what to do with the giblets, if you haven't fried them with the chicken.

I'd comment on how good y'all's chicken looks, but I'm pouting out of jealousy. Hmm, no smilie with a hanging lip on it.


Edited by patti (log)

"I like 'em french fried pertaters." (Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, in Sling Blade.)

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Final chicken pieces a la Brooks method:

The egg wash

gallery_6080_960_50126.jpg

dipped in egg wash and floured:

gallery_6080_960_38343.jpg

Final result:

gallery_6080_960_43926.jpg

a comparison of Brooks method and Dave's method. Brooks left, Dave's right

gallery_6080_960_43926.jpggallery_6080_960_65570.jpg

Notes:

There are a couple of major differences here as far as I can tell between the two methods. First is colour. The temp was pretty consistant between the two batches. Brooks was fried in peanut oil with an egg wash, Dave's in crisco shortening with a buttermilk bath. Dave's is darker in colour. Generally my preference.

The crunch. Here's the big difference. Dave's method produced a covering that was crisp, but thinner in texture. Brooks was thicker and just crunchier, if that makes sense.

the other difference that might have affected my results is that the pieces for this batch were larger than the batch I had for Dave's method. My regular butcher wasn't there when I got the chicken for this batch, and the kid that I ended up with had no concept of the request "cut it up into frying pieces. So I ended up with these huge pieces.

Both methods produced very juicy chicken. Just the exterior was different. If you like thinner and crispy, go a la Dave and the buttermilk soak. If you like crustier thicker crunch, go a la Brooks.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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That looks great Marlene. You, of course, will get a chance to try the real thing (Dave and Brooks-we ARE the real things :raz: ) at Dean's Pig Pickin on Labor Day. After that, all of this talk about Dave's chicken will just be a good story to look back and laugh about. :wink:

I wish you well in your new home with your swell new stove. Many blessings on your house and your family..


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I think I need to fry some more chicken, and soon. This time, I'll try Brooks instead of the Martha/Minnie method.

Anyway, Rachel asked about the livers upthread. What I did was merely dust the livers and hearts with flour (no soaking in anything) and fried them with the first pan and ate them before anyone knew they'd been included in the fry.

My grandmother referred to them as cook's reward. Neither of my parents knew that these were edible or cooked until they were in their 30's.

This has been a most rewarding thread. Right now, I am just home from NCAA playoffs (GO GOPHERS!), and hungry. But, 12:30 am is no time to run and buy chicken to fry!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Lollipops of Fried Chicken (sort of a rediculous take on chicken on a stick, maybe :wink: ).

Such a dish already exists. It's Chinese and is called "Got Let" Chicken (this is the spelling I am familiar with...there may be variations). The legs are "frenched" and the meat is pulled up to the one end and rounded off, making, in essence, a ball of chicken meat on one end, i.e. a Chicken Lollipop. This is dipped and breaded and baked or can be fried, as well.

My mom took some Chinese Food cooking lessons about 30 years ago and always dreaded making the Got Let chicken because her 4 teenage boys (including yours truly) would eat two sheet pans of these "chicken lollipops" at one sitting. :rolleyes:

As for the lingering odor of fried chicken...

Cooking the chicken outdoors (a la Brooks) is the best solution. For indoor odor, I'd suggest lighting a candle (or two). Andiesenji posted a solution (earlier in this thread? Or was it in another discussion?) but I can't remember what it was she said worked well for her. Perhaps she will repost it here.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I happened onto two more really nice little chickens at my meat market at $.89/lb! Happy dance!

This time, when I cut up the chickens, I will reserve the breasts for curry, pad thai, or something else, and just do the dark meat and the backs :wub: for fried chicken, which I will do again VERY soon.

Linda, these birds have the nicest little thighs you've ever seen!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Well, in the interest of true comparison, tonight I did fried chicken using the buttermilk/crisco method. Chicken was brined in buttermilk, salt and Crystal Hot Sauce for 24 hours, drenched in seasoned flour and cooked in crisco at 325 degrees. The pictures below are perhaps not the best, but I didn't want Marlene to hunt me down and beat me with a chicken back!! :raz::laugh:

gallery_13912_991_377484.jpg

gallery_13912_991_472074.jpg

Personally, we've decided we prefer Brooks method as it gives a crispier crust and we felt juicier, tastier meat. But I'm sure I'll have to do it again soon, just to be sure! :biggrin::wub::biggrin:


Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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I'm doing Brooks recipe on Thursda night. Only problem is that my cousin will be here, so it will be a serious duel for the backs. He outweighs me by 50 lbs, but I think my love of backs is strong. Let's just see who wins out on the hearts and livers.

And, there had better damned well be leftovers, because what is a mother to do for lunch when ALL of the kids are home for spring break???


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I'm doing Brooks recipe on Thursda night.  Only problem is that my cousin will be here, so it will be a serious duel for the backs.  He outweighs me by 50 lbs, but I think my love of backs is strong.  Let's just see who wins out on the hearts and livers.

And, there had better damned well be leftovers, because what is a mother to do for lunch when ALL of the kids are home for spring break???

Go buy the "giganto" pack of thighs. You'll be glad you did at lunch the next day. :raz::laugh:


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Just easier to quote Jason's Dinner! post... (you all know I do 99% of the cooking for the pics Jason posts, right?)

Fried Chicken tonight:

gallery_2_4_20308.jpg

24 hour Buttermilk bath, seasoned with Crystal Hot Sauce

gallery_2_4_35538.jpg

Dusted with seasoning blend

gallery_2_4_12978.jpg

Fryin' up

gallery_2_4_5000.jpg

Cooling on the rack

gallery_2_4_9401.jpg

Plated with cornbread, German potato salad, collards, carrot and red cabbage slaw.

gallery_2_4_367397.jpg

Gratuitous closeup

This was my very first time, ever, frying chicken like this (I've done breaded cutlets, but never whole, er cut-up, fried birds). Some of the pieces got a little burnt, but just a little. I mostly kept the temp between 350 - 375 F, used a cast iron skillet, as you can see. They cooked quicker than anticipated, dark meat around 12 minutes, white, around 10 (breasts were cut into 2-3 pieces), wings, around 5. I kept them warm in a 200 F oven while cooking the rest. Oh, the fat was soy bean oil with a touch of bacon fat for flavor.

The salads were made earlier in the day. The potato salad includes diced red onion, red bell pepper, crumbled bacon, hard cooked egg, scallion, parsley, with a dressing of mustard, white wine vinegar, bacon fat and a little mayo, salt & pepper (I combined a bunch of recipes). The carrot/red cabbage salad also contains sultanas, vanilla yogurt and lemon juice. Here's a link to the recipe, it calls for dried apricots, which I didn't have, so I subbed the yellow raisins. Very good, crunchy salad, nice and light -- especially because everything else seemed to have bacon fat in it!

I did do the livers at the end, but they were just "eh" -- Jacques Imo's does them better (what a surprise), and even though their's are great, I still prefer my chicken livers chopped, Jewish style.

Overall, it was an experience, one to be repeated on rare occasions. Like someone else said above, it's not so much better than take out that it's worth the huge mess and time commitment for a weekday dinner. But would be worth it for good friends on a weekend or holiday, especially if they want to help man the skillet!

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Rachel, it is almost 11:30 pm. I am starving. I want fried chicken. Yours looks wonderful. I'm consoling myself with 1/2 carton of Ben & Jerry's Uncanny Cashew, and it is not doing the trick.

Lesson. Don't look here when hungry!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Like someone else said above, it's not so much better than take out that it's worth the huge mess and time commitment for a weekday dinner. But would be worth it for good friends on a weekend or holiday, especially if they want to help man the skillet!

OK folks, we (mostly my wife) have fried plenty of chickens, and are frying one as I write this. The only difference is that, after reading this thread, we tried the 24 hour buttermilk marination. And I'm sure it will be wonderful because it always is.

What I don't know is where you find takeout that you think is even remotely in the same league as homemade. I had a craving the other day and went to Popeye's. The stuff was at best mediocre, probably worse. When I bit into the crust, a bunch of watery goop dripped out. And no, it was NOT chicken juice. I have no idea what it was. So where do you find good takeout that would be an adequate substitute?


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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So where do you find good takeout that would be an adequate substitute?

You won't find it at a fast food place. I recommend your local mom & pop spots.

I was surprised to discover that there's a mom & pop Mexican restaurant (of all places!) near where my mom lives that makes fried chicken that tastes almost like my mom's fried chicken. Who knew? :blink:

I haven't shared the secret with my brothers, yet. It's every man for himself, I say. :wink:


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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We did chicken two ways: buttermilk soak and plain flour and spice coating

gallery_17623_661_202552.jpg Chicken before 2nd flour coating

gallery_17623_661_83319.jpg My thermometer and my great grandma's chicken frying fork! I was taught that the oil is hot enough when you can fry a piece of bread in it.

gallery_17623_661_488060.jpg Half-way point

gallery_17623_661_283907.jpg Done!

This is the buttermilk chicken which we found to be heavier and less crispy than just the flour coating, but delicious just the same! Thanks for all of your photos! I have enjoyed the fried chicken odyssey.


If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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Early this morning, during a sad little spring snow storm, I finally got out to buy some chickens. They are "spring chickens," a bit smaller than usual though not in the 2.5 lb range; I haven't cut them up yet, though, and they have everything still attached, so I think they'll be close.

I bought the chickens at a live poultry shop here in Prodence that has been here for years. Here's the sign for Antonelli's Poultry:

gallery_19804_437_57792.jpg

Antonelli's is on DePasquale Square in Federal Hill, the Italian(-American) section of town. Today was dreary, but on a nice spring day, when the fountain (out of frame on left) is flowing, this is a wonderful spot. The Antonelli's egg-shaped sign is on the right:

gallery_19804_437_1476.jpg

Here's the store front, where they've been for decades:

gallery_19804_437_57785.jpg

Inside, there's a cooler with poultry on ice. Years ago, the food stuffs were largely Italian; now, notice the chayote, limes, and other things that Latino/a shoppers want:

gallery_19804_437_56499.jpg

Beyond that plastic curtain is the live poultry area, where there were capons, muscovy ducks, geese, rabbits, quail, and chicken. On the far right you can see one bird who is flapping away blurrily:

gallery_19804_437_52641.jpg

This is the working area of the store, where the fowl are selected, weighed (in the foreground), killed, bled, defeathered, and cleaned. The whole process takes about five minutes from selection to bagging. This is the man who grabs the chickens out of the yellow box, breaks their necks, and then bleeds them in the cylinders on the right of the image:

gallery_19804_437_1279.jpg

This shot shows most of the working area. In the foreground, the man is weighing the chickens on the scale; in the left background, someone is cutting up chicken into parts; on the right, the person cleans the chickens after they've been defeathered:

gallery_19804_437_37553.jpg

While I left today with three spring chickens that I'm sure will be wonderful to eat, I have to say that I don't ever like going to Antonelli's, exactly. After all, it's hardly a pleasant experience, selecting things to die so you can eat them. Buying rabbit there is particularly difficult for me, for I find the killing of a furry little mammal for my meal more heart-wrenching than that of a chicken.

But I do find the entire process somehow appropriate in a manner I can't quite explain. I've always felt that those who eat meat should be able to see that meat taken from a living animal, and appreciate it as such. Fergus Henderson writes about the respect a cook should show for an animal who died for your belly, and I think I agree. I don't do it often, but it feels like the right thing to do now and then.

Having said that, I still needed a quick trip to Venda Ravioli (across the plaza) so that I could stand at the bar, my warm chickens in a bag, and drink a stiff double espresso toast.

And, with that, I'm frying tomorrow night!

edited to clarify a sentence or two -- ca


Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Thanks for the report, Chris. I grew up spending summers on my grandparents farm, and grew up thinking during those summers that if you wanted meat, you went a chose it. In the case of chickens, it was running around catching them, breaking the neck and doing the whole thing, just like you saw. I learned how to do this when I was 8. As an aside, in the case of beef or pork, once my grandparents quit livestock farming, it was choosing the cow or pig. Someone else did the dirty work. As a further digression from fried chicken, a couple of years ago, our neighbors asked Peter if he wanted to go with them to get a pig. I don't think Peter realized that they were going to choose one and slaughter it themselves (Paul said he could have sworn Peter would return from this expedition a vegetarian, but he didn't). Peter thought it was really cool to see where the meat really comes from. He's still confused as to why the shoulder is called the butt.

But, back to fried chicken. On the menu for Saturday night again here!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I am quite interested in purchasing from a live market myself the next time I make fried chicken. This is undoubtedly the way my mother (and certainly her mother) had fried chicken. I am wondering, though, how to manage the whole buttermilk soaking part. Ordinarily I would marinate in Red Devil sauce for around 8 hours and then soak in buttermilk for around 16 hours before frying (usually in the afternoon). To a certain extent, however, this would seem to defeat the purpose of getting superfresh just-killed chicken. Now I'm thinking of getting the freshly killed chicken early in the morning, soaking in buttermilk/Red Devil for around 8 hours and then frying in the evening.


--

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It's my understanding that you need to cool the chicken down after it's been killed -- or at least this is what the folks at Antonelli's have told me. I think that going immediately into a marinade while still warm might not be a good idea, but I don't know. Does anyone?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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