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It’s a Chicken Invasion Part 3 – Fried Chicken Sandwiches

This recipe is actually the first of two chicken sandwiches that I tried this past week. I think they are great simple sandwiches for dinner or for lunch, but they are also great to use for football Sunday if you want something easy that is a great snack alternative. This first recipe is for a fried chicken sandwich recipe that I got from the latest issue of Cook’s Country magazine. it’s a pretty simple one that tries a little bit of a different method for the coating for the chicken, but I think it worked out pretty well.

Fried Chicken Sandwiches

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and halved crosswise

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons water

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 quarts vegetable oil (I didn’t use this much oil, but the recipe calls for it)

4 sandwich rolls

Combine the salt, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, sage and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Measure out 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture and set it aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Using a meat pounder, gently pound each piece of chicken to about 1/2-inch thickness between two pieces of plastic wrap. Season the chicken all over with the remaining 2 3/4 teaspoons of the spice mixture.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and the reserved 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture together in a large bowl. Add the water to the flour mixture and rub it together with your fingers until the water is evenly incorporated and shaggy pieces form. Place the egg whites in a shallow dish.

Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip the chicken in the egg whites to thoroughly coat them, letting any excess drip back into the dish, then dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, pressing on the flour to make sure it adheres. Transfer the chicken to the prepared wire rack and refrigerate the pieces for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Add the vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven until it measures about 1 1/2 inches deep and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add the chicken to the hot oil. Adjust the burner, if necessary to maintain the oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees. Fry the chicken, stirring gently to prevent the pieces from sticking together, until the chicken is golden brown and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces halfway through the frying. Transfer the chicken to a clean wire rack and allow the pieces to cool for 5 minutes. Serve on the rolls.

Adding that little bit of liquid to the seasoned flour makes the flour clumpy, which gives it a lot more texture when it has cooked. To me it seemed a lot more like good fried chicken pieces and had better crunch to it than a typical fried chicken sandwich, which was great. As I said, I hate using that much oil for frying and I pretty much cut the amount in half and still got good results. I just don’t like to use that much myself and it is a pain to dispose of, so I try to get away with less when I can but if you want to follow the recipe exactly, go for it. I got good results with less but maybe you get a better fry with more oil. I served the sandwiches with some pickles, lettuce and bacon and some french fries, but some cole slaw would have been great with this. I actually made a cole slaw with the other chicken sandwich I made, so you’ll see that recipe next time :). Overall, I think it was a good recipe with a really crispy crunch, which was great.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another chicken recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Sandwiches

 

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Breakfast? Dinner? Why Not Both? Chicken and Waffles

Sean has been asking me to make this one for a long time and I am not really sure why. I tried to tell him that chicken and waffles is just what it sounds like – fried chicken with some waffles. For some reason he really wanted to give it a god so I tried to find a recipe that specialized in both. You could simply just take your favorite fried chicken recipe and any waffle recipe and go to town if that is what you wanted to do, but I found this recipe from Emeril Lagasse that was easy, basic and made really good chicken with some spice to it and very tasty waffles to go along side of them.

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken:

1 (3 1/2 pound) fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces, giblets removed

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Essence seasoning, recipe to follow

Vegetable oil, for frying

Waffles:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Butter, for topping

Maple Syrup

Essence Seasoning:

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

 

To make the Essence seasoning, combine all the dried herbs thoroughly and store them in an airtight container.

For the chicken: Heat enough vegetable oil to come about 1-inch up the sides of a large, deep cast iron skillet. Heat the oil until a candy thermometer inserted into the oil registers 350 degrees.

Rinse the chicken pieces under cold water and do not dry; leave the pieces wet. In a large, sealable plastic bag, combine the flour and the Essence seasoning. Add the chicken pieces one at a time, seal the bag, and shake the coat the chicken evenly. Remove the chicken and place it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the chicken is coated. Allow the chicken to rest on the wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes.

Carefully add the chicken to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until the chicken is golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes total for the pieces being cooked. Do not overcrowd the skillet and cook the chicken in batches if necessary. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and drain on paper towels. Place the cooked chicken pieces on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and place in a 250 degree oven to keep them warm while you finish cooking the rest of the chicken.

For the waffles: Preheat a waffle iron and lightly spray it with cooking spray. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the butter and buttermilk and beat to combine. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them well until combined.

Pour the batter into the hot waffle iron and cook until the waffle is golden brown and lightly crisp. Remove the waffle and repeat the process until all the batter is used or you have the desired amount of waffles. Top each waffle with a slice of butter, if desired, and serve with the chicken and maple syrup.

It certainly is an interesting combination if you have never had it before. The crispy chicken along with the crispy waffle and the maple syrup make for a tasty dish. I did not use a cut up fryer but only bone-in chicken thighs that I had on hand to make things a little bit easier. you could use whatever type of chicken pieces you prefer. For the Essence seasoning, the recipe makes about 2/3 cup, so you will have some leftover to use for other meals as a rub or seasoning. You could always just use whatever you like most on fried chicken instead and you can even buy your favorite waffle mix and use that if you did not want to make your own. I think it was certainly easy enough that it would warrant making again and it was different to try. Sean seemed to really enjoy it. This recipe made 4 servings, so it was just enough for the three of us with some leftover fried chicken that we can use for other meals.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. I still have a few Thanksgiving items to post, including another turkey recipe I am trying, so stay tuned. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Breakfast, Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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A Down Home Meal: Fried Chicken and Cornbread

As soon as I saw this recipe in a recent version of the Dining section of The New York Times a few weeks ago I knew I was going to have to give it a try. It’s a very basic recipe for fried chicken without all the bells and whistles of breadcrumbs, crushed cereal, saltine crackers, and various spices. This is just good, simple ingredients that you don’t need much to do. All you need is a good cast-iron skillet, a cut-up chicken, some flour and some oil and you are good to go. The recipe almost sounded too easy and I wondered how good it was actually going to come out. I was not disappointed in the results. While the recipe was posted in the newspaper a few weeks ago, it actually comes from Southern Living.

Southern Living’s Best Fried Chicken

1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon salt
1 chicken with skin, about 2 1/2 pounds, cut up into 8 pieces
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup bacon drippings (or use more oil)

Combined 1 tablespoon of the salt with 3 quarts of water in a large bowl or container. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse with cold water, and pat dry.

Stir together the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Sprinkle half the mixture evenly over the chicken. In a large sealable plastic bag, combine the remaining pepper mixture and the flour. Add two pieces of chicken to the bag and shake well to coat. Remove the chicken pieces, shaking off any extra flour, and set them aside. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken.

Take a large cast-iron skillet or chicken fryer, for which you have a lid, and fit with a candy or deep-frying thermometer. Add the oil and bacon drippings and heat to 360° over medium heat; the oil will ripple and possibly give off a few wisps of smoke.

Using a pair of tongs, immediately add chicken pieces, skin side down (work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pan). The oil temperature will drop to about 325°, where it should stay; adjust the heat so that the oil is bubbling gently around the chicken pieces. Cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes; uncover the pan and cook for 9 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces; re-cover the pan and cook for another 6 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook for another 5 to 9 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. If necessary for even browning, turn the pieces over a few times towards the end. Remove the pieces and drain on paper towels or in a paper bag. Repeat the process with any remaining chicken pieces. Allow the chicken to cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

There are a couple of notes that go along with this recipe that they pointed out in the article that I think to make a difference to the way the chicken comes out. First, if the chicken is larger than 2 1/2 pounds, you should cut each breast in half so that you have a total of 10 pieces. This will help for more even cooking and keep the pieces to a smaller portion size. Also, I would not use olive oil for this recipe as a substitute for vegetable oil. Olive oil tends to leave a particular taste on the food that you are cooking in it, and this is not the type of meal where you want that to happen. The article itself actually recommends using grapeseed oil, but I do not have any grapeseed oil and I find it to be very expensive to purchase. I simply used the vegetable oil, but you could also use peanut oil or canola oil instead. I did not add the bacon drippings and used more oil instead since we don’t make bacon very often around the house anymore and I didn’t see the need.

Brining the chicken for this recipe does seem to make a good difference in the flavor and the moistness of chicken after it is fried. Not everyone always has the time to do it, but if you are planning ahead and you know you’ll have the time and the space in your refrigerator, I would recommend doing it. Finally, the article highly recommends using a cast-iron skillet for this recipe. I keep mine on the stove pretty much all the time to use for a wide variety of recipes and it was perfect for the chicken. It is plenty deep enough for the amount of oil that you use (and I actually use less oil than the recipe called for and I think it turned out fine), but you do want to make sure that you have some type of cover to put over the chicken.Overall, I loved the crunch of the chicken and there was not too much crust as often happens with fried chicken that has a thick batter. The chicken itself was very moist and cooked perfectly.

To go along with the recipe, I did make some mashed potatoes and coleslaw. I also had some extra cornmeal laying around so I decided that it would be a good opportunity to try and make some cornbread. I’ve made cornbread before and posted the recipe on this blog, but in the past I have made Southern-style cornbread that is made right in the cast-iron skillet. Since I was already using my cast-iron skillet for the chicken, I needed to find a little bit of a different recipe to use. The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook has a good, general all-purpose cornbread recipe that you could easily use for this or use as part of a stuffing if you are going to want leftovers for that purpose.

All-Purpose Cornbread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400°. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with the vegetable oil spray. Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined; set aside.

In a food processor or blender, process the brown sugar, corn kernels, and buttermilk until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the eggs and process until well combined (some corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

Using a rubber spatula, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; pour the wet ingredients into the well. Begin folding the dry ingredients into the wet, giving the mixture only a few turns to barely combine. Add the melted butter and continue folding until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface with the rubber spatula.

Bake until the cornbread is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Allow the cornbread to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the pan onto the wire rack, and turn right side up and allow the cornbread to cool until just warm, about 10 minutes longer, and serve. Leftover cornbread can be wrapped in aluminum foil and re-heated in a 350° oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Adding the extra corn in with the cornmeal gave it up pretty nice flavor, and the combination with the light brown sugar really did give some extra sweetness to the bread. I also like the golden crust that came out on this bread. The recipe recommends using Quaker yellow cornmeal and I guess that is what the recipe was designed for. I only had a stone-ground cornmeal on hand, and the bread did come out a little bit drier, just as the recipe had indicated it might.

Those of the recipes for today. Next time out, I’ll be posting the recipe that I used just last night for some scallops with a carrot cream. Check back for that one and see if you like it. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Breads, Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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How to Make Fried Chicken | Cook’s Country – Recipes That Work

How to Make Fried Chicken | Cook’s Country – Recipes That Work.

Since I have been making chicken meals all week this week, this seemed like a good article to post. I haven’t tried their recipe for fried chicken, but it sure does sound good and doesn’t look any harder than other methods I’ve tried for fried chicken if you want to check it out!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry

 

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Back to the Kitchen For Some Fried Chicken

Hectic schedules, homework, late work days, you name it and it has a way of interfering with life in general, including cooking dinner. We ended up having leftovers the last 2 nights because of crazy schedules, doctor’s appointments and everyday life, but today I am going to get back in the kitchen and I am going to make some fried chicken.

I don’t make fried chicken too often, and when I do I usually oven fry it to cut down on the mess and all the oil needed, but tonight I think I am going to really fry it. I could use the deep fryer, but I am going to do it on the stove this time, and I am going to try a different recipe tonight, one I got from America’s Test Kitchen.

Fried Chicken

1 quart buttermilk

3 tablespoons salt

4 pounds bone in chicken pieces (halved split breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks)

5 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

5 to 6 cups vegetable oil

Whisk 3 1/4 cups of the buttermilk and the salt together in a large bowl until the salt dissolves. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (Don’t let the chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty).

Whisk the flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak and then coat thoroughly with the flour mixture and lay it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour 1 inch of the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add half of the chicken, skin-side down. Cover and cook until deep golden brown on the first side, about 10 minutes (After the first 4 minutes, re-arrange the pieces if some are browning faster than others).

Turn the chicken pieces over. Continue to fry, uncovered and maintaining an oil temperature of 315 degrees, until the chicken pieces are a deep golden on the second side, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain for 5 minutes, then lay on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Add additional oil to the pot as needed to maintain a depth of 1 inch and return it to 375 degrees before frying the remaining chicken.

With the fried chicken, I am going to serve mashed potatoes and gravy. I have made mashed potatoes many times in the meal plan, and if you would like to see the method I use for the potatoes, you can check an earlier blog posting here. You definitely need to have some gravy with this one as well. I have posted a quick chicken gravy recipe before, but since I don’t have any pan drippings to use, I am going to use the all purpose gravy recipe that I have used in the past.

All Purpose Gravy

3 tablespoons butter

1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine

1 rib celery, chopped fine

1 onion, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth 

2 cups beef broth

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried

5 whole black peppercorns

Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until softened and well browned, about 9 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broths and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20-25 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.

Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer (or gravy separator) into a clean saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.

I’ll be serving all this with some simple steamed green beans. It’s just a pound of green beans (stem ends trimmed) in a steaming rack in a large pot of boiling water just touching the rack. I cover and steam the green beans for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the beans are crisp-tender.

If there are any leftovers, there’s nothing like some cold fried chicken with some potato salad for a nice lunch or dinner the next day. Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ll be having fish. I picked up some tilapia this morning so we’ll be having a nice simple baked tilapia with some brown rice and asparagus tomorrow.   Check out the blog tomorrow so you can see how it goes. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!


 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Potatoes, Poultry, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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