Fried Chicken

I have to say, I am really enjoying Food Network’s The Kitchen. I was skeptical at first. I wasn’t sure how the format and casting was really going to work out. But they’re 10 seasons in and it seems there’s no stopping! I enjoy watching the interactions between the different chef personalities and The Kitchen joined my DVR queue. Earlier this year they did a Southern Comforts show.

On that show, we watched Katie Lee make fried chicken. Fried chicken is one of those dishes I thought I’d never end up being brave enough to do at home. But after listening to Katie’s tips and watching her do it I couldn’t stop dreaming about it. It’s her use of hot sauce that had me.

katie lee interactionI decided to give it a shot. So of course I had to share it on Instagram and Twitter. And could you believe my amazement when Katie Lee herself (or maybe one of her people, I don’t know) replied to me!? If I didn’t love The Kitchen cast already, I just loved them even more. We’ve had Twitter interactions with Jeff Mauro, too! Cue the star-struck squeals of excitement. My husband and I are huge fans of Jeff because he’s a Cross-Fitter, from Chicago, and we love his sense of humor. To be friends with The Kitchen family could probably go on my bucket list, but it’s an item that would never get a check mark, so I’ll leave it there in dream land.

Back to the chicken.

This chicken was perfect! Incredibly crispy and still juicy. Part of the draw was the dual cook method of fryer and oven. Doing so prevents the crust from burning before the chicken is fully cooked. If you’re a newbie to frying chicken like I am, don’t be scared. Give this recipe a try.

Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (I used just drumsticks)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 C hot sauce
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • oil for frying (I used canola oil)
  • 2 1/2 C flour

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Season chicken on both sides.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, hot sauce, and buttermilk. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.
  5. Remove chicken from the marinade. Dredge in flour.
  6. Working in batches, fry the chicken in the hot oil, covered, for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook, uncovered, another 5 minutes. Place chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
  7. Bake fried chicken 10 minutes, until fully cooked.

*This recipe is adapted from Katie Lee at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/fried-chicken.html*

fried chicken  sew you think you can cook.jpg

Chicharrones de Pollo

Today is my dad’s birthday! And that means he gets to be front and center on the blog today.

I have no shame in admitting that I am a Daddy’s Girl. Just talking to my dad on the phone can make me homesick. I could pull out every positive adjective from the dictionary to describe my father. He is a very successful man who never once puts family second behind work. He travels a lot for his job and growing up we really only saw him on the weekends, but I never felt deserted. My dad knows how much I appreciate everything he has done for our family, I tell him in every Father’s Day and Birthday card. Yes, I’m one of those softies who just can’t buy the funny card – no matter how fitting.

Dad

Wedding photography by Cher Hanna

My dad’s birthday dinner is typically pierogi. It’s the test batch before Christmas Eve. With pierogi already on the blog Dad got free reign on the recipe I should post today. He asked for Chicharrones de pollo. Of course I couldn’t say no.

My father’s family is from the Dominican Republic, my dad was the first born in the states. So really this was a perfect dish to feature today. I don’t make Dominican food nor have I ever really eaten it. Dominican food is very similar to Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisine. I didn’t know if he had a recipe in mind and when I asked he pointed me in the direction of my aunt to get his mom’s recipe. But, of course my grandmother didn’t write down the recipe! So I found a couple versions of this classic Dominican dish and followed my aunt’s advice. I looked at the ratios of the ingredients in the marinade to adjust the quantity and added some seasonings. My aunt uses Ranchero Sazon de Criollo in her recipe but I don’t have that Dominican all-purpose seasoning on hand, so I had to compromise. I spent hours trying to find the ingredient list for this spice blend but had zero luck. Both of the recipes I used for inspiration put paprika in the flour – a step my aunt doesn’t do. But, because I don’t have Ranchero Sazon de Criollo I figured it’d help give it some more of the flavors I was missing.

Never having eaten Chicharrones de Pollo (at least that I’m aware of) I don’t know if my flavors were right, but I do know they were delicious. And funnily enough, the smell of the marinade made me think of my grandmother, the aroma was very comforting, so I knew I was at least on a good path. This fried chicken has a thin, perfectly crispy coating and a very bright flavor. I will definitely be looking for more Dominican recipes to add to my repertoire. I served the chicharrones with rice and beans.

Chicharrones de Pollo

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 tbsp lime juice (100 mL, between 1/3 – 1/2 C)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt, divided use
  • 1 1/4 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place in a plastic bag with the cubed chicken. Let marinate overnight.
  2. Fill a high sided skillet with 2-3″ vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Test oil temperature by tossing in a pinch of flour, if it sizzles you’re good to go!
  3. In a shallow bowl mix flour, paprika, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Gently shake excess marinade off chicken and toss in flour mixture. Knock off excess flour.
  5. Fry chicken in hot oil in batches of 10-12 pieces for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, until nuggets are golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

chicharrones de pollo

And I can’t write a post about my father without using his tag line: Do your best.

Fried Chicken Salad

When we moved to Ohio we spent a week with Stuart’s family in northern Alabama. As a welcome, his aunt provided dinner for us – fried chicken!

I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d had fried chicken. (Other than Chick-fil-A, of course.) It’s not something I have, or even crave, that often. But when it’s made right it makes me wonder why I haven’t been enjoying it more! Perfectly seasoned, crispy batter and juicy meat makes for finger licking good eats.

But what do you do with the leftovers?

Damaris Phillips, winner of last season’s Next Food Network Star, has an answer!

Chicken salad.

I really like chicken salad (as long as it’s made with mayo and not Miracle Whip). I love it on top of a croissant, between toasted bread, and eaten with crackers. There are many options when it comes to chicken salad mix-ins: from nuts, to fruits, to vegetables, even bacon and cheese.

When I watched Damaris make this on her show Southern at Heart, I immediately wanted to make it. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity! This chicken salad is fantastic. I love the tang from the buttermilk, the kick from the cayenne, the crunch from the celery, and the zip from the scallion. I even followed Damaris’s suggestion and served it on a croissant. That buttery, flaky bread is the perfect vessel for the chicken salad.

I encourage you to go out and get some fried chicken, or make your own, just so you can have this chicken salad. Bring it to your next tailgate, go on a picnic, or spice up your weekday lunchbox. Find any excuse you can to make this sandwich!

Fried Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 5-6 C cold fried chicken, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, mustard, buttermilk, Italian seasoning, and cayenne. Stir in chicken, celery, and scallion.
  2. Create sandwiches with croissants. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

*This recipe is adapted from Damaris at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/damaris-phillips/fried-chicken-salad-sandwiches.html*

Fried Chicken Salad