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Archive for the ‘Sides & Salads’ Category

This post is copied from my other blog NotQuiteJuneCleaverAs I said earlier, I want to move my recipes over here and make them easier to reference.

Fried Chicken Tutorial, Chicken Gravy & Perfecting Rice

Let me tell you frying chicken, getting it just right and not fainting from the heat is quite an accomplishment. Frying chicken is an art, and while my meal yesterday was nothing short of delicious, it was NOT my granny’s chicken. Not even close. But it was much enjoyed and we have leftovers for lunch today. My mom loved it, ate every bite she said. That is well worth the work. Now if you like you may buy whole fryers and cut them up, but Husband suggested just buying the pieces everyone likes so breast, legs and wings it was. Here is our menu:Fried Chicken ~ Rice and Gravy ~ Corn on the Cob ~ Homemade Rolls ~ Coconut Cream Pie

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I forgot to get photos of the Rice and Gravy (which again was very good – just not what I remember my granny making) and Corn on the Cob. I had intended to get a photo of the table set but was busy as a bee and forgot!

Okay so start out with your chicken pieces and wash and dry them. Salt and pepper to taste. Let me say, I have yet to get chicken too salty. It needs salt on the chicken and in the flour you dredge in.

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Next dredge your chicken pieces in your seasoned flour (all purpose). Seasoned with your choice of spices, I used just salt and pepper. But you can use garlic powder, cayenne…whatever is your taste.

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Then dip the floured chicken pieces into seasoned buttermilk. Again seasoned to your taste.

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Then BACK into the flour for a second coating. This process is what keeps your crust on your chicken. The first dredging helps it all adhere to the meat.

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In the meantime you should have your skillet filled 1/2 full with oil – DO NOT USE olive oil as it will burn before it gets hot enough to fry the chicken. I personally use canola oil. When your oil is hot enough (ideally kept at 375) start carefully dropping pieces of your chicken in the hot oil. Depending on the size of your skillet and your batch of chicken to be fried, you could be in this stage a while. Never put too many pieces in at a time. Your chicken pieces should not touch each other. They need room to cook on all sides. It is best to let the chicken cook on one side until golden brown and then turn once. This will give you even browning and help your chicken cook all the way to the bone. I suggest you cook the pieces that take longest first ~ thighs, legs and large breast pieces. I cant give you a time, because it will vary depending on size of pieces, how large your skillet is…lots of things. Just watch it closely.

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As your pieces get done, place them on brown paper on a cookie sheet to drain. Paper towels will stick to your crust. After you have all your chicken fried and while you are preparing the rest of your meal, place your chicken on a clean piece of brown paper (a clean paper bag will do) on a clean cookie sheet, cover loosely with heavy duty foil and place in a 300 degree oven until 15 -20 minutes before ready to serve. Then turn the oven off and leave it to stay warm until the meal is ready. This baking is important to set your crust, assure the bigger pieces are done to the bone (nothing I hate worse than undercooked poultry!)and will stay warm for your meal. Refrigerate leftover chicken for chicken salad (sans the crust), or just to eat as a cold lunch. Leftover fried chicken is not great warmed in my opinion. May just be my quirkiness but I think it tastes of feathers. Not that I actually have ever eaten a feather intentionally, but that is what I think of.

Chicken Gravy

Take out one cup of your oil from where you fried the chicken and put it in a clean skillet. Add 1/3-1/2 cup flour and make a roux from this. A roux is just oil and flour mixed and browned…not too brown, not too light. NEVER stop stiring…I use a metal whisk. Cook to the color of say…a new copper penny???…does that make sense? Just do not get it too brown and remember even if you take it off the heat, it will still be cooking in that hot skillet. So…you are to the brown perfection, add one can chicken broth. Slowly! Continue stirring. Add 1/3 cup diced onion, and a clove or two of minced garlic. Continue cooking and stirring until the onion is soft. Salt and pepper and set off the heat. You will have to reheat, probably adding more liquid (water is fine) just before serving.

Perfect Rice Everytime

First suggestion…use bottled water. For our family I use 2 1/2 cups uncooked rice. So here is the ratio: 5 cups water, 2 1/2 cups rice and salt. Put the water on to boil in a pot that has a tight fitting lid. Salt the water generously…say a teaspoon. Bring the salted water to a brisk boil over high flame, add your rice – DO NOT stir. Gently shake the pot to distribute the rice, bring it back to a boil , put the lid on, turn the flame to the lowest setting, or simmer, set your timer for 20 minutes exactly, and DO NOT OPEN it. When the time goes off, set it off the heat and leave it. Fluff with fork when ready to serve. Different water makes for different rice. My well water is soft, very soft…so it make sticky, mushy rice…YUCK! I like my rice done, yet individual grains, you know??

We had a small crowd for supper. The 5 of us, my niece who is spending the week with us (the aspiring chef you met before), Oldest son and then I sent Mom a plate over. All in all, start to finish I fried 24 pieces of chicken, 9 large legs, 5 very large breasts, and 10 wings and it took me from 3:30 till 6:00 to get it all on the table. But during all that I was making a pie, rice, gravy, corn…so that wasnt too bad. Just to think my grannies, aunts and many times my mom did this every day of the week…not fried chicken but HUGE meals with lots of prep time…whew. Makes me old thinking about it. Not only do we not need to eat like this everyday…I dont think I could stand up to it!

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