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Chris Amirault

Fried Chicken--Cook-Off 5

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Welcome to the Society, Kadija.

What snowangel said. I think it is about the acid. I have a friend that uses yogurt instead of buttermilk. I intend to try that one of these times.

When brining, which is actually what you are doing in the salt and buttermilk, you do need to be careful about adding salt. When I did the drumettes I reduced the salt a bit since the pieces are smaller. Also, I wasn't sure about the salt content of the sriracha. A bit less salt won't hurt.

While you are exploring the site, you might check in on the eGullet Culinary Institute (eGCI) course on brining.


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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Thanks for the tips, snowangel and fifi. This is really helpful. I will be frying some more chicken soon.

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Plus, according to AB, Buttermilk has a certain viscosity that sticks to the chicken better then regular milk would. That probably leads to better crust formation...and that's definitely good eats.

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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.

From what I have read (and vaguely remember from my grandmother's farm) is that a superfresh just-killed chicken won't be any good. You need to let the meat rest (I think about 24 hours is right), for all the normal dead-thing stuff (maybe it's rigor mortis, maybe some other enzymatic action) to work its magic to transform the meat into its tastiest. I remember reading on another cooking board (gasp!) that someone made chicken within a couple of hours of killing it and it was tasteless and the texture was off, too. I'm trying to find that thread that had a great response by someone quite knowledgeable about offing one's own meats.

Wonder if anyone told that to all those last-generation cooks who went out at 6 a.m., stalked a nice fryer with a hatchet, and had it in the pan before 9 so as to get to Sunday School on time.

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Tonight was not a fried chicken success.

gallery_6080_960_61423.jpg

gallery_6080_960_15854.jpg

Oh, it doesn't look too bad, but as my son said, this was boring.

I tried Brooks' method, deep fried. To compound my error, I double dipped it. I used Dave's seasoning mix on the chicken, but nothing in the flour, then I deep fried it.

First mistake was double dipping. Sure the outer crust was crispy, but underneath it was a icky mess of fat. Uncooked. Or so it seemed. The crust was crispy, but it really didn't have any flavour at all. It was - bland. And it doesn't seem to matter what I do to Brooks' chicken, I can't get it to be that nice deep golden brown colour. It remains - pale. Even after 20 minutes of deep frying.

The coleslaw however, kicked ass. So that's what I ate. Ryan gamely ate both his legs, but hastily declined seconds. Afterwards he said, "Mom, you don't have to make this recipe again for your website do you?"

To recap:

I've done Dave's method pan fried and deep fried

I've done Brooks' method pan fried and deep fried

I've done Aunt Minnie/Martha's pan fried.

You see what I'm missing here don't you? :biggrin:


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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So, Marlene, when are you going to get to that missing piece?

Somewhere way upthread, I remember someone talked about double dipping, and the need to let each coat dry before dipping again so that things have time to absorb.

Perhaps Brooks should go on tour and cook fried chicken for us?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Oh probably next week. :biggrin:


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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It has been a busy weekend. My folks 49th anniversary.

And, on Tuesday, my dad will have open heart surgery. So, this afternoon, I arranged a gathering at our house for relatives and a very few friends who we have known more than 30 years.

When I asked my dad what he wanted, he said a "last hurrah." Fried chicken, potato salad, green salad.

So, I fried chicken. Lots of it. One chicken and a dozen thighs and legs (dozen of each).

I took no pictures. We were busy talking about the coming days, and what will be.

But, everyone agreed that is was the best damned fried chicken they'd ever had, every bit as good as they had on the farm those many years ago, at their great aunt's house, where-ever.

Linda, Aunt Minnie would be proud of me. I did the circle "fiddling" thing.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Mine will, as well, Susan. Take care.


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Your father is my kind of gourmand. And you're my kinda woman.

My beloved father has been going thru serious operations about ghastly things for ten years. It has been terrible.

The worst thing for him: hospital food. Yeah, he's spoiled: my mother is a cross between Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson. Trust me, a plate of fried chicken has done more for his recuperation than any medical help. (God, those dieticians!)

I am sure Mummy's fried chix has done more to extend his life than any post-operative advice he's been ever given. Hang in there, Goddess. (My folks have hit the 53 year mark. Yours will too)

And, on Tuesday, my dad will have open heart surgery.  So, this afternoon, I arranged a gathering at our house for relatives and a very few friends who we have known more than 30 years.

When I asked my dad what he wanted, he said a "last hurrah."  Fried chicken, potato salad, green salad.

So, I fried chicken.  Lots of it.  One chicken and a dozen thighs and legs (dozen of each).

I took no pictures.  We were busy talking about the coming days, and what will be.

But, everyone agreed that is was the best damned fried chicken they'd ever had, every bit as good as they had on the farm those many years ago, at their great aunt's house, where-ever.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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It was neat to serve fried chicken tonight. It brought back all sorts of memories of childhoods. Mine, and my folks. Killing chickens. Fresh buttermilk. Sunbeam electric skillets (why, in the early 90's did my sister and I eschew those and choose to send them to Goodwill?). Cast iron skillets.

I've got the food thing covered, at least for those of us that can eat, while at the hospital. People going to great delis to bring those waiting seriously great and bizarre stuff.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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What is it about frying a bird that has so much emotional baggage? It does for me. The baggage is almost always good and lightly carried. Even in the past few years, when I resurrected the ritual, it was universally greeted by family and friends as an "event." And a good one at that. I am also beginning to suspect that Aunt Minnie's technique of fiddling around with the chicken in a clockwise manner was a way of focusing her mind on the situation at hand. Oddly enough, the last foray into frying the drumettes and employing this technique resulted in a weird experience. I was focusing on rotating the chicken but in the back of my mind, many other life decisions became clear.

*cue Twilight Zone music*

OK . . . Maybe we need a thread on the Zen of frying chicken. :laugh::laugh::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 time I tried two different methods for holding pre-fried chicken to allow for the nasty chicken frying smell to dissapate.

Nasty chicken frying smell? Hmmm.... This sounds like something ain't right. Chicken frying is one of the best smells there is!

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I've got Aunt Minnie/Martha's chicken soaking in buttermilk. I"ll be deep frying this one tonight and this will conclude my experiments with the various methods both pan fried and deep fried :biggrin:


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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I pan fried chicken last night as part of following Paul Prudhomme's recipe in Louisiana Kitchen for chicken sauce piquante! I could have stopped right there but you had to throw the chicken in some chicken stock for a few minutes and add a mixture of tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapeno, garlic, onions, bell pepper and celery.

The skin came out funny but the flour from the chicken gave it a good flavor.

Prudhomme has a technique like this in the Family Cookbook for okra gumbo with chicken. I liked that too.


Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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Following the Minnie/Martha soak of buttermilk, tabassco and salt, I prepared yet another batch of fried chicken. This time deep fried. Oh my:

gallery_6080_960_32014.jpg

served with onion rings. Because you can't have too much fried food at once!

gallery_6080_960_36714.jpg

This was incredible chicken. Crispy on the outside, juicy inside. The flour was seasoned just right, making the chicken tasty but not too salty. Clean up was a breeze.

Minne/Martha can definately be successfully deep fried!


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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Oh my that looks wonderful, Marlene. It reminds me of my favorite fried chicken of all time, English's. That was a local restaurant chain/take out's chicken we used to get when we lived in Delaware. It might not sound like comparing your chicken to a restaurant's is a compliment, but believe me it is!

I don't think English's exists anymore. I just did a search and came up with nothing. :sad:


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I'm very much afraid I'm going to have to buy a pressure cooker now to experiment with pressure cooked chicken :biggrin:

Thanks Susan. It was awesome!


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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Marlene, it looks wonderful. What temp? How long? (for the chicken)

What kind of batter on the onion rings?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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It really did taste as good as it looks. I fried it at 365 and the deep fryer had no trouble with temperature recovery at all. Each batch took about 12 minutes in total.


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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Mostly three pieces per batch. I could probably have fit four in, but I didn't want to over crowd the basket.


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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Thanks, Chris, for asking the question.

Interesting. Pan fry at 325, because it's in the oil longer (and I found it needed about 10 minutes per side). Deep fry at 365.

I'm going to have to try deep frying it.

Marlene, did you use Crisco or what?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I used peanut oil in the deep fryer.


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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