In need of an easy dinner, I flipped through the pages of Joy of Cooking and stumbled upon Fried Chicken.
But isn't that difficult to do homemade, I thought? Better not even consider it. Another look at the recipe though proved enticing - flour, check. Eggs, check. Salt and Pepper, yeah I think I have those on hand. And with some chicken breasts in the freezer it was too easy to pass up. I love when you don't actually have to buy any ingredients to make a real meal!
Extra Crispy Fried Chicken
from Joy of Cooking
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds chicken parts (we had much less than this so I more than halved the following recipe)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
Mix together on a plate:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil or shortening in a deep-fat fryer or heavy pot to 350.
Although we are wanting for a deep fryer, our big pot seemed to work just fine with a few inches of vegetable oil. The oil quickly took on a deep dark color and we had to switch it out halfway through. If I may bring back a word of the 80s - grody.
An egg mixture was in one bowl and a flour mixture was on a plate beside it. The boneless chicken breasts were given a quick salt and pepper rub down and then dipped in the flour, dipped in the egg and dipped in the flour again, making sure to let excess drip off.
10 minutes or less in the hot oil was enough to give the chicken a nice dark brown glint and we used paper towels to de-grease the pieces a bit.
We served our chicken up with an equally quick to make black bean salad. How quick? I forgot about it until our chicken was just about done. Plop in a can of corn, some diced tomato and onion, black beans and a dash of olive oil/salt/pepper vinagrette and it was all she wrote.
Although I was worried about biting into the chicken and having a too-pink middle, the results were fantastic. I should note we did not go the full 10 minutes partly because we were using much smaller chicken tender size pieces, but having the timer on hand was a smart move so we didn't overcook or undercook. Joy of Cooking also suggests that longer time be spent on drumsticks and thigh pieces.
Have you undertaken home frying or does it still sound too frightening a concept? I'll admit I am terrified of being scalded. What if the pan suddenly flew up and hot oil was all up in my face? I'd look like Harvey "Two-Face" Dent from Batman.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate.