Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday Dinner - Fried Chicken with Summer Salad

I lost my camera's battery charger, so I made Trey go out and buy me a new one last night specifically for this meal. It's such a pretty meal, and super quick (for fried chicken). The summer salad - as we have dubbed it, is a family recipe. We've added Oregonzola cheese for a nice bite and for something a little creamy.

Fried chicken is one of those things that some people I think are a little afraid to try - but we've found there's nothing scary about it and the payoff is so worth the time (about 45 minutes). Usually, if we are being super planny we will "brine" the chicken for up to 24 hours in buttermilk, but last night we decided last minute we wanted fried chicken so we skipped that step and just rolled it in flour. It was still really really good.

Fried Chicken:
As many thighs and drumsticks as you want
About 3 C. Flour
Oil for frying
Lawry's Seasoning
Garlic Salt
Fried Herbs (recipe to follow) - thyme, rosemary and sage

If you have time, put the chicken in a shallow pan or Ziploc baggie and cover with buttermilk. Put in the fridge and let is set for up to 24 hours.

If you don't have time you can jump right in! Heat about an inch and a half of oil in a good fry pan - we use our cast iron skillet (make sure it has a lid or something you can use to cover it, like another pan). You want it to reach between 350 and 400 degrees.

Put the chicken in a Ziploc baggie and generously add salt and pepper. Add Lawry's or garlic salt to taste. Shake it up to distribute seasonings.

In a shallow pan add flour, salt, pepper, Lawry's, Garlic Salt, dash of Cayenne, Paprika and crushed fried herbs.

When the oil gets up to temperature, roll the chicken in the seasoned flour and drop in oil carefully. Distribute chicken pieces evenly over the pan, don't overcrowd.

On medium-high fry for 12 minutes, then flip and cover the pan.

Turn the heat down to low and fry for another 12 minutes, with the pan or skillet covered.

Flip the chicken again, turn heat back up to medium-high and let fry for another 12 minutes.

Remove from oil and let drain on a cooling rack with paper towels underneath. Check internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Chicken should be at around 180 degrees. Sprinkle with salt if you LOVE salt like I do. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Fried Herbs:
Fresh herbs - We used sage, rosemary and thyme from our garden
Oil for frying

We just tossed the herbs in the oil while we waited for it to come up to temperature. They will let you know when they are done. They'll turn a brown-er color and cease to sizzle.

Remove them from the oil and drain them on a paper towel. Once their cool, crumble them into the flour mixture for fried chicken.

Summer Salad:
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (you can use a mixture of red, yellow and orange. It makes it really pretty)
Oregonzola cheese
Italian dressing (we use Newman's Own)

Halve tomatoes. Core cucumber (cut it in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds). Cut each half in half and then chop.

Put tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl and cover with Italian dressing, Let sit in fridge for up to 4 hours.

When you're ready to eat, crumble some of the Oregonzola over the salad and toss. Serve with a slotted spoon to drain off excess dressing.

Serve fried chicken and summer salad with white rice or mashed potatoes.

Bon appetit!

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