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Old 10-10-2006, 07:58 AM   #1
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Fried Chicken - This time for real...

HAHAHA! I'm not quite sure what happened to that last thread I made... definetly a mystery. Perhaps the chickens are starting a revolution and decided to use denial of information as their pre-emptive strategy.

Ok, I'm playing around with fried chicken recipes. I picked up three 3.5-4lb birds and broke one down yesterday afternoon into six pieces (drumsticks/thighs/breasts). My first recipe is going to be the CIA's, which begins by marinating the pieces for 24hrs in 1-qt Buttermilk, 4oz Mustard, and some torn Tarragon leaves. It's quite similar to Alton Brown's, except he recommends pan-frying in a solid fat such as lard/crisco (i'll be cooking these today in my big-ole Lodge cast-iron skillet). I'll probably go the crisco route, as I'm not sure cans of lard are stocked at my local markets.

Anyhoo, I'm looking to try out some ideas from others as well - or any tips you might have. I plan on making a traditional pan/milk gravy after (similar to a bechamel). Right now my resources are the CIA text, Alton Brown's DVD on Fried Chicken, and a regional cookbook with a "Traditional Southern Fried Chicken" recipe. I'd also be interested in what everyone serves with theirs (mashed taters, grits, greens, etc). Trying to come up with a reference recipe for myself looking at "Soul" versions, "Southern" versions, "Wannabe Northeastern Yankee" versions, etc...

Actually, I think the Mid-Atlantic states produce the most chickens in the US don't they?

Anyways, I'd love to hear what you guys do!

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Old 10-10-2006, 08:04 AM   #2
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Hey Nick! Check out Paula Dean's Recipe for Southern Chicken....its very good.
When I think of Fried Chicken I think of Mashed Potatoes & White Gravy, Green Beans with Bacon and Onions and Baked Apples.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:37 AM   #3
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Lard is probably not in cans but in sticks in a paperboard wrapping. Crisco is good.
In my opinion, 24 hours in butter milk is too long. It will definitely "tenderize" the meat. 4 hours is plenty.
To make your gravy pour off most of the grease/oil from frying. Just make a roux with the pan drippings, scraping up all the goodies, of course. Put a good bit of black pepper in. Thicken with milk if you want--I prefer water. It is rich enough.
Start the chicken skin side down. Fry, covered for 15 minutes. Turn and fry for 15 minutes. Drain grease on a brown shopping bag.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:43 AM   #4
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I've never bought Lard before. It comes in sticks kinda like butter?

I asked around at a couple local markets and neither place said they sold it which bummed me out. So I bought a big 'ole blue can of Crisco. The lady at the register looked at me funny because I also bought a small box of sugar cones for ice cream.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:44 AM   #5
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Ok, I'll check out Paula's recipe. Off to foodtv.com...
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:03 AM   #6
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Crisco will work fine and probably better. Lard can go rancid on the shelf--and particularly where it isn't used much. You would definitely find it in a Latino market.
And as for chicken production, I'd bet on Arkansas.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:26 AM   #7
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Should find the lard in the cooking oil section of the grocery store. Usually comes in 1 lb bricks.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:28 AM   #8
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around here I think you can get lard in the little tubs like margarine.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:32 AM   #9
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I prefer crisco over lard for frying chicken. Gretchen is right about not marinating beyond 4 hours in buttermilk. Also, if you want crispy crust, do not put a lid on it or if you want a softer crust then, do cover.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:41 AM   #10
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I have never marinated chicken, wash it good, dry, coat in flour w/salt, pepper and garlic powder. I use to you veg.oil-but never tasted like my Mom's. Until I realized back then there wasn't veg.oil--- she used crisco ! Thats all I fry it in now---------- Just like Mom's !! We always have mashed potatoes, gravy (water made), peas and jellied cranberries ! Yum my favorite comfort meal . I do mine in my electric frying pan, brown both sides, cover for awhile, take cover off to crisp back up.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shunka
I prefer crisco over lard for frying chicken. Gretchen is right about not marinating beyond 4 hours in buttermilk. Also, if you want crispy crust, do not put a lid on it or if you want a softer crust then, do cover.
I know that is the way it seems but mine is crispy (not shatteringly so, I'll admit) and it is very brown. Just an FYI.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
HAHAHA! I'm not quite sure happened to that last thread I made... definetly a mystery. Perhaps the chickens are starting a revolution and decided to use denial of information as their pre-emptive strategy.
Theyre responding to the "Chick-Fil-A: EAT MOR CHIKIN" marketing campaign!!
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:27 AM   #13
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My adoptive mother made the best fried chicken in the world IMHO. One thing she did, Nicholas, was to brine the chicken pieces for about an hour or so. You might experiment with this, too, and compare it to that soaked in buttermilk.

I've also seen lard in sticks in my market. It also comes in containers that look like the tubs soft margarine or cottage cheese comes in. It's in the vegetable oils, shortening section of our stores here.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shunka
Also, if you want crispy crust, do not put a lid on it or if you want a softer crust then, do cover.
I am curious about this tip above: I havent tried it but the science of it is troubling me, if the chicken is totally covered in lard/crisco/oil/fat, then how would the skin be affected whether the lid is on or off? just curious...

---------------------
Nick... I read this tip online, havent used it but you may want to try it on your trial runs...

"Use baking powder in the batter; it causes the coating to puff up in the hot oil, making it extra crunchy."
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:13 AM   #15
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I only use about a inch or less of oil, comes up to the middle of chicken pieces. Always turns out well ! (I fry not deep fry)
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven S
I am curious about this tip above: I havent tried it but the science of it is troubling me, if the chicken is totally covered in lard/crisco/oil/fat, then how would the skin be affected whether the lid is on or off? just curious...

---------------------
Nick... I read this tip online, havent used it but you may want to try it on your trial runs...

"Use baking powder in the batter; it causes the coating to puff up in the hot oil, making it extra crunchy."
What we need to know is if the OP is talking about deep frying or pan frying.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:17 AM   #17
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I make my fried chicken several ways. One is to use a small quantity of oil/grease/lard/fat in my cast-iron skillet. Another uses my deep fryer. The deep fryer fried chicken is much like the KFC extra-crispy. I've had the recipe since my children were babies and they'd shoot me if I ever lost it. In fact, I thought I'd lost it once and nearly panicked. Fortunately, I'd only misfiled it in my recipe file. Whew!
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:18 AM   #18
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Nick said he was using a big cast iron skillet.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:19 AM   #19
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Pan frying it is then. Thanks for pointing that out Andy!
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:33 AM   #20
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I have never deep fried chicken; always do as Barb L does. When you keep a lid on the cast iron skillet, it not only frys but kind of steams the chicken for a softer crust. It doesn't matter if you soak the chicken in brine, buttermilk or not. Just something I was taught by my Mom and Grandmother and I have even done it both ways for my own satisfaction and knowledge.
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