Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rosemary Fried Chicken

Probably one of my favorite things about cooking is the freedom. I'll tell you a secret: when I'm puttering around on my own, without a cookbook or recipe anywhere in sight, I tend to cook by smell; I'll sniff what I'm making and sniff what I'm thinking about adding to it and if they smell good together, I'll dump it in.

Last night's chicken dinner had moments of the Swedish Chef: just dump it in and here we go! Bork! Bork! Bork! I opened up the dried herb cabinet and went a little crazy. And you know what? Dried rosemary is damn good on fried chicken.

Unless I'm doing a beer batter, I never measure anything when I'm frying. But for simplicity's sake, here's basically what I do:

3-4 chicken breasts. If they're very large (as these were), pop the joint where cartlidget meets bone on the backside and cut them in half with a sharp knife. If you do this, warn diners for small rib bones.
1-2 quarts vegetable oil (after frying I filter it, pour it back into the bottle, and refrigerate until next time I want to fry something)
1-2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup Louisiana hot sauce or another similar sauce. I use Louisiana because 1. it's inexpensive and 2. that's what Cain's restaurant uses. It doesn't make the chicken spicy - just adds some flavor.
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons - 1 Tablespoon salt (I use kosher for more crunch.)
2 teaspoons - 1 Tablespoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons dried rosemary
Any other dried spice you might like. Cumin, coriander, paprika, Tony's, garlic powder, basil, celery flakes, onion powder. Just sniff it first and see if you're in the mood for that.
  • The night before, soak chicken in buttermilk and enough hot sauce to make the mixture slightly pink. This makes the chicken juicy post-frying.
  • Preheat oil to 335 degrees.
  • Combine eggs and enough hot sauce to make mixture orange. Beat eggs and hot sauce well with a fork.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, herbs, and spices with clean fingers.
  • When oil is hot enough, roll a piece of chicken in the egg mixture, then dip in the flour mixture. For extra-crispy, dip back in the egg mixture and then back in the flour mixture.
  • Slowly lower into hot oil.
  • I usually fry for about 9-12 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken meat. The best way to determine doneness is to cut into the biggest piece you fry in a batch: if all the meat is white and juices are running clear, you're done.
A chicken is like a man. The faster you cook it, the tougher it is. Let him simmer, and he's tender and juicy putty in your hands.

2 comments:

HannahBanana aka Amanda said...

I was just telling my husband the other day that it was about time he tasted REAL home fried chicken and quit eating that KFC stuff. (He's from Germany) As he is crazy about Italian herbs, this is perfect for him! I'll be making it next weekend with mashed potatoes, buttered greens, and biscuits I suppose!
Thanks Fran!

Christena said...

Many people love these kind fast food ........


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