Andre’s Fried Chicken (345th new thing).
December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
There’s nothing that screams southern cooking like fried chicken, and over the past year I have tried a variety of the dish, from Popeye’s fast food to LeRoy’s lard cooked version. To complete the trifecta my friend Andre came over to my house on Day Three Hundred Forty-Five to teach me how to make my own fried chicken.
We began with a defrosted chicken. Andre graciously separated the bird into friable parts. Break the breastbone and hack at the body. It wasn’t the most enticing sight, but Dre’s skill with the knife proved efficient and quick.
I grabbed a plastic freezer bag and per Dre’s instructions dumped a whole bunch of flour into it. Maybe like four cups. The mark of a true chef, my friend measures by eyeball and taste. I added some salt, then some more, and more still. A few quick turns of the pepper mill next. Then the garlic powder and Tony’s seasoning (Andre hails from the fair city of New Orleans). And more Tony’s because I apparently have a light hand with the seasoning. It’s my English heritage and love of bland food, says Dre. So we didn’t put as much Tony’s in the mix as he would normally. We followed up the coating with a healthy amount of dried thyme and…more Tony’s.
We coated the first batch of chicken pieces in the seasoned flour while the oil heated in the pan. It was actually a combination of vegetable oil and Crisco. The vegetable oil was a small bottle to begin with and I had used half over the year making various dishes that weren’t risotto. The Crisco was a throwback to some pie I made at some point. Together they merged in the pot to just be enough to fry some bird.
Once the oil temperature reached whatever it is supposed to be (Dre eyeballed it), we gently set a few pieces of meat into the pan with a sizzle. Little rivulets of blood oozed into the liquid. Once that subsided, I turned the pieces over with a pair of tongs. After ten minutes or so, Dre determined that they were done. I picked them out of the oil and set the pieces onto a paper towel draped plate to drain. Then we repeated the process until all of the chicken parts were floured, fried and drained.
We supplemented our meal with some Andre-approved smashed potatoes and cornbread. And it was delicious! The skin was crispy and flavorful, the meat moist and tasty. Sorry, Days 87 and 116, Dre’s fried chicken trumps yours. And I did it myself (or at least mostly solo).