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Chris Amirault

Fried Chicken--Cook-Off 5

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Rochelle, sounds like sort of a nightmare!

But, how did the girls like the chicken? You?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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They loved it. Are you kidding me? They've been asking for it since I made it the first time, last semester. (I'd never made fried chicken at all before. So of course for my first try I made it for 34 guinea pigs. I'm fearless, idiotic or probably both.)

I liked it too. I was trying to keep my mitts off because I visited a great place in Alexandria with my spouse for dinner last night, and I didn't want to ruin my appetite. But of course I had to indulge in a thigh, and, well, it definitely didn't suck one little bit. I ate a piece cold today and it was still excellent. I'll try to get my pix up by Sunday.

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I have been cruising my usual markets looking for the drumlets. I am seeing packages of drumlets and the second joint of the wing but not just drumlets. I suppose I could make stock out of the second joints. With all of that skin and bone, it would probably make a heck of a batch of chicken and dumplings.


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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ta da!

gallery_6134_119_9893.jpg

I ended up going to an international market in Tokyo to find a chicken and wound up buying a bag of legs instead though, $20 for a whole chicken or $3.50 for 5 legs...hhhmmm.... :wink:

I used Brooks recipe and it was a huge hit.

I had no bacon grease so I used Crisco and a bit of canola.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Kristin, that is absolutely beautiful. The color is wonderful. Do you have any idea how big the chickens might have been? The reason I am asking is that if I tried to fry a "hind quarter" of one of our typical grocery store chickens it would have a charcoal crust before the chicken was done.

Boy am I confused about the chicken pricing. Is there something special about a whole chicken there?


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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Kristin, that is absolutely beautiful. The color is wonderful. Do you have any idea how big the chickens might have been? The reason I am asking is that if I tried to fry a "hind quarter" of one of our typical grocery store chickens it would have a charcoal crust before the chicken was done.

Boy am I confused about the chicken pricing. Is there something special about a whole chicken there?

(pulling the plastic bag out of the trash...)

the 5 legs weighed 915 grams, so about 6 1/2 ounces each?

They seemed smaller than chicken legs I have eaten in the US and in general the whole chickens I find here are quite small.

Whole chickens are very expensive (and hard to find), the Japanese just don't cook with them, $20 in an average price for a 3- 3 1/2 pounder, even at Costco they still cost in the $12 to $15 range.

Those legs were a really good deal, I can sometimes find frozen legs at about $1 each (absolute cheapest) but they tend to be really scrawny. The ones I used yesterday were great!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Whole chicken more $$$ in Japan than legs? My significant other is a Nihonjin, and tells me that whole chickens are the big-production-holiday dish for Xmas or other gaijin holdidays. Since we both live in Hungary we do whole roats chicken weekely... but I digree. My SigOther refers to me as "Toriniku Sensei" and I am commanded to fry chicken whenever her Tokyo friends show up in Budapest. Which will be next week, they seem to love my chicken that much.

I will keep it brief: I like to use legs and thighs, but if using a whole chicken cut the wings off the breast and cut the breast in half.

Skin the chicken parts and soak 'em in milk for an hour. Buttermilk will work if you have it, but what milk does is provide a protein that helps the flour to adhere to the chicken - just as eggs would. You can flavor the milk with garlic, although my Edoko GF won't allow that, so I add thyme, pepper, a bit of salt, and mustard.

You don't have paper bags and we Magyars don't either. So dump some flour in a plastic bag, add some salt and pepper, a smidge of paprika, some dried parsley. Dump chicken parts in bag, coat well, take out, wait a few minutes while you do the next batch, and re-flour them. Gotta flour them twice. Let them sit someplace for at least 30 minutes. That makes a BIG difference.

Use a cast iron frying pan. I brought mine home from NY. In the US they cost 15 bucks, in Europe $80. Heat it up for seven to ten minutes - the pan should be hot before you pour the oil in, because that is how you will control the heat and prevent burning. I pour enough oil in to come 1/3 up the chickens when I put them in.

Put the floured chicken pieces in the oil, and when they fill the pan without crowding, give them a minute and then turn the heat down to just below medium. Let them sit for seven minutes or so (the time it takes me to smoke a cigarette in the hallway just outside the kitchen.) Time to turn the pieces, so first put the heat up a bit, then turn, wait, and turn the heat down again so you don't burn them. Another seven minutes wait.

Now the fun begins. the ideas is to prevent burning, so at this point the chicken doesn't look "golden brown" but every three minutes of so you keep turning the pieces - on a low-medium fire - so to make sure that the interior of the thigh, leg or breast is actually cooking while the outside does not burn.

remove from pan, set on absorban\t paper, let the chicken sit for five minutes, and serve.

the whole process takes about twenty minutes a pan full, which is why a nice big cast iron pan is worth $15.

Gravy, hot sauce? Whatever you want. I have learned to not add too many flavors to the chicken itself when soaking or flouring in order not to influence the flavor of chicken as "bearer of heavenly condiments". Let people add what they want. My preferences are just hot pepper or gravy. Fried chicken and hot indian lime pickle is a food group unto itself.

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Since we live in an apartment with a really bad ventillation system, we usually fry up chicken tenders rather than bone-in chicken, because it reduces the amount of time that we have to sit around in oily chicken air. We use a deep fryer instead of a dutch oven or frying pan.

Tonight I adapted the Cook's Illustrated recipe for my own fried chicken. Since chicken tenders are well, tender, and quick to cook, I saw no reason to brine the meat. Instead, I just floured, then battered, then floured again. The batter was made from an egg, a tsp of baking powder, a half tsp of baking soda a bit of salt, and a cup of buttermilk. The flour was seasoned with thyme, garlic powder and pepper. Also, since we had the fryer running we made some corndogs and chicken fried steak. All in all, our apt doesn't smell very oily and I made very little mess.

The first pic was supposed to be of just the tenders, but my bf insisted that the corndog be in the picture as well. The tenders were nice and crunchy and the corndogs were so so, we used a mix instead of making the batter ourselves.

frieddinner02APR05.jpg

This second pic is of more tenders, and if you look at the upper left of the pic you can see two pieces of chicken fried steak.

friedfoodB02APR05.jpg

This was served with fresh white bread, using the King Arthur Flour's recipe.

slicedwb02APR05.jpg


Edited by ellencho (log)

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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we cut up our chicken this morning into legs, thighs, breasts (in halves) and soaked all them all day in buttermilk, salt and tabasco.

Did half in our fryer with veg oil and half in the cast iron chicken pan with crisco. Seasoned the drained chicken with my own cajun blend of spices and shook them up with flour.

gallery_16100_1_42731.jpg

We put them right it to fry from the bag

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I had a hard time controlling the heat, not sure if that was a crisco thing or the electric burner thing or a combo of both......

I cooked the pan fried covered for the first half, open for the second.

deep fried is on the left, pan fried on the right:

gallery_16100_1_110466.jpg

the chicken tasted great(minus the dark very center crust)! Dayne said it was the best homemade fried chicken he's had. We really couldn't tell much difference between the fryer or the pan flavor wise. We served ours with a drizzle of honey, sauteed peas with onions and 4 cheese mac n cheese.

And beers!

gallery_16100_1_301181.jpg

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Wendy, that looks great! And Kristin, can you tell us the temperature at which you fried the chicken? Yours is lighter than mine turned out (i.e., it isn't burned!!). How was it on the inside?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  Kristin, can you tell us the temperature at which you fried the chicken? Yours is lighter than mine turned out (i.e., it isn't burned!!). How was it on the inside?

I have no idea of the temp... :blink: I just heated the oil until it sent up bubbles when I put the chopsticks into the pan..... :blink: I cooked them for somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes, I don't pay attention to time either....

One was a little red close to the bone but the others were perfect.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  Kristin, can you tell us the temperature at which you fried the chicken? Yours is lighter than mine turned out (i.e., it isn't burned!!). How was it on the inside?

I have no idea of the temp... :blink: I just heated the oil until it sent up bubbles when I put the chopsticks into the pan..... :blink: I cooked them for somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes, I don't pay attention to time either....

One was a little red close to the bone but the others were perfect.

Ahh.... The mystery of the perfect temperature eludes us still! :raz:


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Doing some mental mathematics gymnastics, I think Kristin's chicken quarters were a bit smaller than we get here. I am guessing from that elusive 2.5 to 3 pound chicken.


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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Ok stupid question coming up...

I know leftovers are supposed to be good cold (did not try that when I fried my chicken, we ate it all  :biggrin: ) but.. could you reheat fried chicken? And what would be the best way to do that?

If I were going to reheat it, I'd do it in the oven or toaster oven, and not wrapped in foil. That might do a nice job of re-crisping the crust.

Try it and report back!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I did reheat one of the thighs in my DeLonghi toaster oven. I started it cold, not wrapped, and set the oven to 250 with convection. In about 15 to 20 minutes, it was almost as good as right out of the pan. The crust crisped up nicely.


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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what do y'all with the hardened oil afterwards?

Can it be re-used?


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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torakris, I use a deep fryer and I save my oil for the next use by straining it through a coffee filter to remove all the excess debris. I usually have to use multiple coffee filters because they get clogged up so fast!


Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Being a lazy sort, I just pour off as much as I can, leaving some oil and sludge in the pan, into a clean coffee can. Then I leave the can, with the fat still liquid, on the counter so that any sludge settles before it solidifies. Into the fridge it goes. I just don't dip off the sludge in the bottom of the can when I go to reuse it.


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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Mine has already solidified in the frypan...

Can I just scoop it out maybe and put it in the fridge?

What kind of stuff do you use it foe?

Mine was a mixture of about 80% crisco and 20% canola.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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well i don't have a camera that i can post pics with so i can't show you guys my chicken but because of this i have now actually broken my previous record of breaking down a chicken. my previous record was 35 seconds. i can now break down a chicken in only... 18 seconds. and when i mean break down i mean breast and legs are seperated from the main carcass. haven't timed myself of how fast i can seperate the thigh from the drumstick and the wing from the breast. i'm guess it'll bring me back up to my 45 sec mark


bork bork bork

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Okee Dokee . . . I did the drumlets.

gallery_7796_951_34265.jpg

Those things are so cute they make my teeth hurt. Being smaller pieces, I didn't have the problems with the crust getting too brown before they were done. The process was not without problems, though.

The first problem was temperature control, again. Even cycling in a piece at a time did not tame this beast of a burner. I could not maintain 300-325 F to save me. The best I could do was 275-300F. If I tried to ramp it up, it would over shoot the mark. It was like I had no control at all. This resulted in the final result a bit greasier than I like. Oh, it wasn't as bad as I have gotten out. It just wasn't the terrific stuff I used to make. I think the fry pan will go back in the cupboard until I get to the new stove. Well, for fried chicken at least.

I used sriracha sauce instead of Tabasco® and it was really good. Next time I do that I will add more than I did. I used Martha's 1/3 cup measure for the Tabasco®. Since the pieces were smaller, I cut the salt by about a quarter as well. That was just about right.

The crust was a bit thicker than the thighs. But then so was the buttermilk. It was Kroger brand (why can't I find my Borden's?) whole milk active culture. It was wonderfully crunchy.

I used the old Crisco, not the new without transfats. I didn't see any difference.

I am now a fan of large plastic containers for flouring the chicken. I was able to do 3 of these small pieces at a time without knocking the flour off of the pieces.


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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Very nice, Linda!

An aside: This is the first time I have ever heard the term "drumlets"! I've only heard drumettes or party wings. They sure are cute.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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