Home Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

Frying foods at home is one of those “beyond my comfort zone” aspects of frying.  It tends to make a mess and smells up the house.  More than a year ago I tried a cold oil method to fry French fries, and that turned out pretty well.  But I haven’t done much frying since.  Last week my attention was caught by a Cooks Illustrated recipe for fried chicken that uses less oil.

The long and the short of it is that they decided on a method that uses frying in a shallow amount of oil to help form a nice crust on the exterior, followed by oven baking to finish cooking it through. The results is supposed to be a evenly cooked chicken with nice exterior crunch without as much oil and without as much hassle from deep frying.

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You start by placing the chicken pieces – I used boneless breasts – in a buttermilk and salt brine, combined with cayenne pepper and other spices for several hours.  Would you believe I cannot buy bone-in chicken breasts at the store?  I have to get a whole chicken for that.  Obviously they aren’t butchering their own chickens.

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While waiting, I prepped some long bean.  These two-foot long beans look like green beans and are just a little less crispy.  Good alternative, though.  I stir-fried these with a splash of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of salt, and some slivered almonds.

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Next, prepare a coating of flour, baking powder, a little salt, and more spices.  The trick here is that you add just a bit of buttermilk and start stirring it, so you form little clumps that make the chicken’s crust more substantial.

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Take the chicken out of the brine and dredge it in the flour mixture, being sure to pat on a nice thick coating.  Easier said than done!

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While waiting for the oil to heat, I finished the mashed potatoes.  These keep nicely covered at a very low heat with a bit of butter on top.

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Time to fry!  Temperature control is a pain.  My thermometer doesn’t reach to the bottom of the pan so when there isn’t much oil, I don’t get an accurate read.  I ended up scorching the bottoms of the chicken just a little.  D’oh…  After about five minutes in the oil (turning half way through the time) I transferred the chicken to a rack placed in a baking tray and finished for about twenty minutes in the oven.

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Despite the slightly burned exterior, the end result looked pretty nice.  Tasted good, too!

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Inside was nice and juice, thanks to the brining.  Yum.

 

0 thoughts on “Home Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

  1. Looks delicious! I’ve not yet tried my hand at fried chicken… it’s too intimidating. I think I’ll try chicken and dumplings sometime though… it’s one of my favorite comfort foods. πŸ™‚

  2. I used to be the one who fried chicken as a girl with a big family. To this day I refuse to make it. LOL I bake it only now. But I know a good crisp crust only comes from frying. πŸ˜‰ Looks so good!

  3. yum, looks delicious! i’ll have to try that; i always avoid fried chicken because of all the oil, but this looks reasonable. sometimes when i want a really thick battered coating, i double-tip it (after i coat with the flour, i return it to the liquid batter and then re-coat with flour). it’s a little messy but it works ok.

  4. Looks very delicious, Chris! I can imagine Tawn standing by the dinning table eagerly waiting to sink his teeth into that piece of juicy chicken breast! *Ah-roi mak mak* ^0^

  5. @kunhuo42 –  That’s a great suggestion, Aaron. I’ll have to try the double dipping next time and see how that works. One of these days we need to meet up and cook together!@CurryPuffy –  Tawn didn’t know what I was making so was very pleasantly surprised with this weeknight meal.@brooklyn2028 –  Start working, Sheldon! It only takes and hour… or two! =D@Sinful_Sundae –  Oh, I’m glad you liked it.

  6. @elizabethtravis –  It is a bit of work, true. Somewhere I had read/heard someone saying something to the effect of, we should be able to eat as much fried food as we want, so long as we prepare it ourselves. That would be the natural limiter to overeating!@Passionflwr86 –  It really is, isn’t it? My mother would try chicken from time to time and for some reason it seemed more manageable. Maybe because she was the one doing the cooking and not me!@moolgishin –  That’s another one I like and, frankly, it is a heck of a lot easier to make.@Ikwa –  Oh, I can imagine how a childhood of frying chicken would turn one off from ever frying chicken again!@Fatcat723 –  For more details you can check out the this link on the Cooks Illustrated website.@yang1815 –  @Roadlesstaken –  Thank you.

  7. It looks good. I am lazy to fried stuff, US houses are not design with the best ventilation. Most of the apartment where I lived in the kitchen is in the middle of the apartment, so if I cook the whole apartment will be smokey. My current home as well 😦 and now is in the middle of winter i cant just open windows i will freeze to dead ha ha ha.

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