Tag-Archive for ◊ fried ◊

02 Aug 2011 Fried Chicken

Frying chicken wasn’t just another hedonistic pursuit you know.  I had a good reason.  A very good reason.  My friends and I have started an M&M group.  LOL!  I crack myself up. A Movie & Meal group. We are going to go to movies together and after the movie dine on food inspired by the movie.  We SO know how to have a good time!  BUT…, our first movie pick is “The Help”.  Now how could we have a “The Help” movie meal without fried chicken?   I HAD to start frying chicken.  Had to.

I didn’t expect to end up making the best fried chicken on the planet though.  Truth be told, I haven’t eaten much fried chicken in my  life.  I’ve had the occasional KFC, once or twice a decade, perhaps.  Never been to Popeye’s.  Had a few pieces from Safeway’s deli when my son was in middle school. There are no southern cooks in my family, so I have had no home fried chicken. Until now.  So perhaps I am not the most qualified person to declare this chicken “the best fried chicken on the planet”, but it is certainly the best fried chicken on MY planet.

This recipe came from Epicurious in 1998 and it’s called “Deviled Fried Chicken”. The chicken needs to marinate a day or two before frying, so plan ahead. I reduced the chili powder quite a bit, and it still has a bit of a bite.  The original recipe called for 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper.  YIKES.  The first batch I fried up was hunks of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  The next time I had a hankering for some bones,  so I fried up a mess of drumsticks.  Drumsticks were harder.  They had to be finished off in the oven.  For “The Help” party, I am going back to big juicy hunks of chicken breast.

I have to tell you the rest of our menu for “The Help” dinner!  It’s going to be goooood!  Cucumber Sandwiches and Deviled Eggs for appetizers, Crab Bisque for the soup. Fried Chicken and a Pineapple Ham for the main dishes.  Southern Biscuits (we tested several recipes), Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Collard Greens or Green Beans, and a Jell-O salad (a MUST have!) for side dishes.  Caramel Cake (we tested several recipes) and Chocolate Cream Pie (with no off-putting ingredients) for dessert.  Lots of Sweet Tea, too. I’ll wear my “pearls”, of course.  One of my friends is getting out her cinch waist dress.  Another has her gloves ready.  I hope there are a few hats, too!

Fried Chicken

2 cups buttermilk (the non-fat stuff won’t work)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons garlic powder (divided use)
5 teaspoons salt (divided use)
2 teaspoons dry mustard (divided use)
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (divided use)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper (divided use)
4 or 5 chicken breasts, cut into 8-10 pieces, skinned or about a dozen drumsticks, or one frying chicken cut into 8 pieces.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

5 cups (or more) oil, for frying (recipe suggested peanut oil, but vegetable oil and canola oil will work, too)

In 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, mix buttermilk, Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

Add chicken pieces. Seal bag, eliminating air. Turn bag to coat chicken evenly. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 2 days, turning plastic bag occasionally.

A bit more than one hour before you want to start to fry chicken…whisk flour, baking powder, garlic powder, remaining 1 tablespoon onion powder, 4 teaspoons salt, 3 teaspoons dry mustard, 1 teaspoon1 cayenne and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish. With marinade still clinging to chicken pieces (do not shake off excess), add chicken to flour mixture; turn to coat thickly.

Let chicken stand in flour mixture for 1 hour, turning chicken occasionally to recoat with flour mixture.  (The chicken will look ugly at this point,. The flour mixture should cling thickly to the chicken.)

Pour oil to depth of 1 1/4 inches into deep 10- to 11-inch-diameter pot. Attach deep-fry thermometer. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350°F.

Add 4 pieces of chicken to oil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and fry 5 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain oil temperature between 280°F and 300°F (oil should bubble constantly around chicken).

Turn chicken over. Fry 7 more minutes. Turn chicken over again. Fry until deep golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. (I think I had my oil too hot, because my chicken was getting too dark, so when the chicken was the right color, I put it on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and baked in preheated 250 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes to thoroughly cook the drumsticks.  I had no problem with the boneless chicken breasts.)

Reheat oil to 350°F. Repeat frying with remaining 4 pieces of chicken.

Serve chicken warm or at room temperature (within 2 hours), or chill up to 1 day and serve cold.

Reheating has been a bit of an issue. My son has reheated pieces in the microwave, but this does not result in the coating getting re-crispy.  I have reheated pieces in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, and the coating gets almost recrisped.  Two day old fried chicken reheated in the oven is STILL better than Safeway’s fresh from the deli counter!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  It’s always a pleasure.  Maybe you will have your own Southern dinner after finishing “The Help”, either the book version or the movie version, or maybe you will just fry chicken for the hedonistic thrill of it!  Either way, I hope you try this recipe.  It’s a keeper!

19 Jul 2011 Corn Dogs

I am sooooo bad.  I KNOW I shouldn’t cook like this.  I know it. I know it. I know it.  But I did.  And my little experiment turned out wonderfully well.  Who knew homemade corn dogs were so easy to make?   I guess there is no need to go to the fair now, or to make that once every other year stop at the Hot Dog On A Stick outlet in the mall.

I made mini corn dogs, so that counts for something, right?  I cut each bun length hot dog into 3 pieces, speared each piece with a good quality toothpick, rolled it around in the cornbread batter, and then placed it in the <gasp> hot fat to <gasp, gasp> deep fry.

Bad girl, BAD girl.

Delicious outcome though.

We–my son, my daughter, my grandson, and my houseguest–ate them standing at the stove, putting the mustard and ketchup on the paper towel I was draining the corn dogs on.Dip, bite, mmmm, dip, bite, mmmmm, dip, bite, mmmmmm…

Tes At Home led me astray. Her Tastespotting picture showed up in my RSS feed right at lunch time. I followed her directions exactly.  The only thing I have added in is a suggested temperature for the hot oil (I know, I know, it’s a sin that I know such things), and I did increase the salt a bit <gasp>, and I rewrote the directions just a bit, just to make them sound more like me…, BUT! The recipe is ALL Tes At Home 🙂

Mini Corn Dog

  • 6-8 hot dogs, your choice…all beef, turkey, Kosher, vegan, super premium, ultra bargain discount, regular length or bun length, it doesn’t matter…, whatever you prefer or have on hand
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • additional flour for coating the hot dogs (2-3 tablespoons)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • Oil for deep frying
  1. Cook the hot dogs in boiling water for few minutes.  (I know they are already precooked, but do it anyway so they can get all that plumping business out of the way.) Remove cooked hot dogs from the water, drain,  and set aside.
  2. Combine corn meal, flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk egg and sugar until sugar is dissolved,  then stir in milk.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir well.  Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in the deep fryer over the medium heat.
  6. If desired, cut hot dogs into halves or thirds. Spear each piece with a good quality toothpick.
  7. Roll  hot dog pieces in flour and then dip into the corn bread batter, coating well.  (The cornbread batter coats surprisingly well.  No worries here!)
  8. When the oil reaches 365 degrees, place the cornbread covered, toothpick skewered, hot dog into the hot oil. (I have a small pan for deep frying, so I could only cook two mini dogs at a time.)
  9. Deep fry until golden brown. Serve hot, with ketchup and mustard for dipping, of course.

Note: I had enough batter for six bun sized hot dogs cut into thirds, 18 mini hot dogs–and I put the batter on pretty thickly (the corn bread batter is my favorite part).

Aren’t you glad you stopped by my kitchen today?  Just what you needed to know…, how to coat a hot dog in a corn bread batter and deep fry it!  Deeeeeelicious!!!  Serve with a green salad and a glass of orange juice.  My daughter sees no reason why these can’t be frozen and then reheated in the oven as needed.  I don’t either.  Costco sells them twenty four to a box just that way!

Now for all my Facebook, “Polly, Julie and Julia” friends.  YES,  to make matters WORSE I then cut some Reese’s Peanut Butter cups in half , wrapped each half in that roll out crescent roll stuff, baked at 375 for 10 minutes, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and ate.  Ummm, no.  That refrigerated crescent roll stuff is bad news.  The rolls tasted and smelled like chemicals. That being said, of the eight I made guess how many are left?  ZERO.

Now, aren’t you glad to know you can make killer corn dogs at home any time you want?!  I’ll try to post something a little more sane tomorrow….

04 Feb 2011 Mozzarella Sticks

I had no idea it was so easy to fry cheese.  I also had no idea fried cheese was so delicious.  Dang it. There’s no looking back now, unfortunately. Fried Mozzarella sticks are here to stay and they are my 2011 contribution to my Superbowl Snacks Line up (do they have line ups in football?).

This recipe is so yummy that it is all over the Internet.  I found the source recipe at Pass the Sushi and the blogger that adapted it was Michelle from Une-Deux Senses.

I changed the recipe a bit. The quantities didn’t quite work for me, and I simplified the ingredient list.  I also added on reheating instructions.  The cheese can be prepared/coated in advance (up to two weeks or more), frozen, and then fried at the last minute (without defrosting).

Mozzarella Sticks

  • 1 lb. string cheese, 16 sticks (This recipe can be adapted to make any quantity.  Directions below are based on using the entire 1 lb. package.  Adjust quantities accordingly if you are making more or less)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ½ cups Italian-style Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs dried parsley (optional)
  • Canola oil, for frying


  1. Remove wrappers from the string cheese and slice cheese into thirds (slice across, NOT lengthwise).
  2. Place the flour in a Ziploc bag. Toss the cheese in the flour, shake off any excess flour and set aside.
  3. In a shallow bowl or tray whisk the egg with the milk to combine.  Pour the Italian-style Panko into another shallow bowl or tray. Set the flour covered cheese in position 1, set the egg in position 2, and set the panko in position 3, set a baking sheet that will fit into your freezer in position (4).  You should have nice line on your kitchen counter like this:  (1) (2) (3) (4).
  4. Dip the flour covered cheese into the egg mix­ture, cov­er­ing com­pletely, then roll in the Panko-press slightly to make sure the Panko adheres-then place the coated cheese on the bak­ing sheet.
  5. Place the coated cheese in the freezer for at least  30 min­utes (overnight is fine, two weeks is fine, longer is fine as long as you remove the frozen sticks from the cookie sheet and place in an air tight, freezer safe container).
  6. Just before serving, fill a small/medium saucepan with the canola oil until it reaches a height of about 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot, about 360-375 degrees. (I have a dedicated small saucepan that I use just for frying.  I always use a thermometer to maintain the correct oil temperature, too.)
  7. When the oil is hot, carefully place the moz­zarella sticks, 4 pieces at a time in a small saucepan or 8 pieces at a time in a medium saucepan, into the hot oil. Watch the cheese closely and turn or stir to evenly brown.  It will take less than  2 min­utes to cook the cheese. Do not allow the cheese to bub­ble and leak.
  8. Carefully remove the fried cheese from the hot oil and drain on a paper towel.
  9. Serve.
  10. If you need to reheat the mozzarella sticks, place in a preheated 350 oven for 5-8 minutes.  Again, do not allow the cheese to bubble and leak.  Drain on paper towel again, and serve.

I hope  you enjoy your Superbowl Sunday!  If you stop by tomorrow, I’ll suggest some other recipes. I am not much into football, but I sure do enjoy setting out good Superbowl snacks for those ardent, noisy fans.  Superbowl Sunday is a great American holiday in my book!

05 Jul 2010 Pickle Fried Chicken
 |  Category: Appetizers, Poultry  | Tags: , , , ,  | Leave a Comment

Pickle Fried Chicken! Was it something I dreamed? I couldn’t find the recipe that I thought I had seen  ANYWHERE! I searched all of the food magazines I’d bought recently, and not so recently, and all of the none food magazines, too. I searched the Internet. I looked in my files. There’s not a recipe for Pickle Fried Chicken anywhere… A memory is a terrible thing to waste. Luckily though, I DID remember part of the recipe I thought I’d read: brine the chicken in “pickle juice until it turns a bit green… Stay with me here…!” I remember that part word-for-word!* So that’s what I did. I brined chicken tenders in pickle juice for 30 minutes. For the battering and frying part I used a technique I had used before. Success! Pickle fried chicken! Tasty, as I knew it would be. Next time, I think I will make Poppers…, Pickle Fried Poppers! I’ll cut the tenders into thirds and proceed as below, but probably cooking the chicken for a little less time. It’s time for the Olympics. These would be great as part of a TV dinner. BTW…, while you’re making these and waiting for the Olympics coverage to air, watch “Cool Runnings”. What a great way to spend a Saturday!

PS. My elder daughter wants to try these in a sandwich…, ciabatta, Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, Pickle Fried chicken, and a few pickles…, YUM!

Polly’s Pickle Fried Chicken

1 lb. chicken tenders (8 or 9)
about 1 cup pickle juice (drained from a jar of pickles)
1 cup flour (divided use)
1/2 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper, to taste
Oil for frying

Brine the chicken tenders in the pickle juice for approximately two hours. Put ½ cup flour in shallow bow (like a pie plate), ½ cup buttermilk in another shallow bowl, ½ cup flour in third shallow bowl. Set a wire rack next to the third bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt (yes, the chicken does need a bit more salt) and pepper into both bowls of flour, and stir. In assembly line fashion, take each tender from the pickle juice, dredge in first bowl of flour, carefully dip and cover in buttermilk, then dredge in flour in the next bowl and then place on wire rack to dry for about 30 minutes.

Heat oil to 350 degrees. Add 2 or 3 pieces of chicken and cook for about 5 minutes.

You might need to test one. Don’t overcook the chicken. Drain cooked chicken on a rack or on paper towel. Serve warm. One of my daughters wanted Ranch Dressing on the side. I just wanted a bit more salt (Maldon’s Sea Salt, of course).

*Found the source! This recipe was inspired by “Andy’s Pickle Fried Chicken”, page 113 in the magazine Mixing Bowl 2010 (a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication).

Olympics here I come! And if you stop by…, I’ll have some Pickle Fried Poppers and Nanaimo Bars to share with you 🙂