Tuesday, September 2, 2008
What I learned in PA: Recipe
There are very few times when I eat fried food. Don't get me wrong; I love fried food - who doesn't? But I feel a bit sick after eating an abundance of it - who doesn't?
Recently we were in Pennsylvania and ate dinner at a restaurant called Good 'N Plenty http://www.goodnplenty.com (which my mom tells me I've been to several times in my lifetime - uhm, it's that old, I guess!) serving "family-style dining." We ate at long tables with other folks we had never met before and ate like kings for very little money. We had relishes and homemade apple sauce and homemade bread to start. What came next was so abundant it was laughable: meat loaf, roast turkey, Lima beans, corn, whipped potatoes, and unbelievable fried chicken.
I've tried my hand at fried chicken and the result from this technique was moist meat and very crispy skin with a little bite to it. Soaking the chicken overnight in buttermilk gives flavor and moisture, protecting it during frying. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
8 chicken legs, skin on (about 1 1/2 lbs)
6 chicken thighs, skin on (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cups buttermilk
Salt and pepper
3 cups flour
2 Tbsp. salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
Vegetable Oil for frying
Place chicken in a large plastic bag and pour buttermilk over it. Allow chicken to soak overnight.
In a large bowl, combine flour and all herbs and spices. Mix well. Heat about 4 inches of oil in a very large pot that can be used for frying. Bring oil up to about 350 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, allow oil to heat up for about 8 minutes and peel off a small piece of chicken skin and drop into the pan; if it sizzles immediately, it's ready).
Before frying, remove chicken from plastic bag and dry well with paper towels. Drop chicken into the flour and coat well. Shake off any excess flour. Place about 4 pieces of chicken into the pan at one time and allow them to fry about 10 - 14 minutes, turning once. Remove and drain oil onto brown paper lunch bags. Repeat with additional chicken.