Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Fried Chicken Day!

As unhealthy as fried chicken may be, who can deny that it is the absolute best way to eat chicken?!?!? All those denying this statement must have never had fried chicken so good that you don't even care if people see you lick your fingers! It is definitely something that needs to be eaten in moderation, but NOT ON THIS DAY!!! Today I invite and encourage you to indulge in this American classic! It would be unpatriotic of you to not participate since it IS after all NATIONAL FRIED CHICKEN DAY!!!

Who cares why this day was invented, let us celebrate accordingly! Here are a few different ways you can enjoy this national treasure today!

  • Cheat like my mother, who by the way is the official fried chicken cook in our family...I should say WAS because she now cheats and goes to Publix and BUYS her fried chicken. CHEATER! Cheaters never prosper so don't take her lead...unless of course it is as hot at your house as it is at mine right now.
  • Go to your favorite restaurant and throw down.
  • Ask your mother or grandmother to make some for you.
  • Make it yourself.
Frying chicken is somewhat of an art. Not everyone can do it and some just shouldn't even attempt to. You know how you are! But for those brave souls that would like to properly honor this day, I'll give you a couple of recipe options for you to try.

SPICY FRIED CHICKEN
Recipe from The Neelys
Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds fryer chicken, cut into 10 pieces
Salt and pepper
1 quart buttermilk
2 tbsp Franks Red Hot
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Peanut oil, for frying
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika

Directions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and set aside in a shallow baking dish. In a nonreactive bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce and cayenne. Pour buttermilk mixture over the chicken, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat deep fryer to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large paper bag, add flour, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Close bag and shake to mix. Shake off excess buttermilk mixture from chicken and begin placing a few pieces of chicken into the bag. Shake to coat chicken. Continue until all chicken is coated.
  4. Place chicken into the deep fryer basket and fry for about 8-10 minutes for white meat, 13-15 minutes for dark meat. Drain on a paper towel and serve!
SWEET TEA FRIED CHICKEN
Recipe from Paula Deen

I am including this because I live in the south and it just seems right. This one is a little more elaborate but well worth the effort! The recipe also included Biscones but I have not tried them yet so I left that part out.



Ingredients

Sweet Tea Brine
1 quart cold water
2 gallon-size tea bags
1 cup sugar
1 lemon, quartered
1/3 cup kosher salt
6 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless 
Oil, for deep-fryer
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, optional
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
Buttermilk, for dredging
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Directions
For the brine:
Bring the cold water to a hard boil and remove from the heat. Add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add the sugar; stir until dissolved. Add the lemons and kosher salt; stir to dissolve. Put in a nonreactive bowl and refrigerate to chill for 8 to 12 hours. Cook's Note: Make sure the brine is good and cold before adding the 6 chicken breasts.
Put the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours. Drain the chicken.
In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 degrees F.
Put the flour into a shallow bowl. Add the cornstarch, black pepper, if using, and House Seasoning. Add the buttermilk and the hot sauce to a second dish. Dredge the chicken in the buttermilk, and then the flour mixture. Carefully add the chicken to the hot oil and fry until golden and fully cooked. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm until ready to serve.
House Seasoning
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together. Mixture can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

You should be hungry now and heading to the store so you can FRY THAT CHICKEN!!!

Thank you.