Fried Chicken – Round 2

Fried ChickenThere are some many different recipes to fry chicken, and a handful of ways to go about it, however I typically stick with the two I know, and they are both delicious. I have written about my fried chicken once before, however this post is going to focus on the second batch, which in turn reminds me a lot of something you would get from Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is a process that can take some time, as you want to let the chicken soak in a couple of baths; one being a salted water bath, and the other, preferably overnight, a buttermilk bath.

Ingredients:

  • Whole chicken, cut up (legs, wings, breasts, thighs)
  • One quart of buttermilk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Seasonings

In a large bowl, fill about 80 percent up with water and add about a 1/4 cup of salt. Add the chicken and let it soak for nearly one hour. After the soak, remove the chicken and give it a quick rinse, then add these to a large ziplock bag. Add the buttermilk, seal, and place in a large bowl to refrigerate overnight.

The next day, do the following in advance:

Fried ChickenGet 3 large ziplock bags. Add two cups of flour to two of the bags. To this flour add whatever seasoning you see fit for tasty chicken. I use onion powder, garlic powder, season salt, and black pepper. In a separate bowl, crack six eggs and whisk, then add to the third ziplock bag. Drain the buttermilk from the night before. Now we are ready to begin the coating process. This part can be messy, hence why I use ziplock bags and tongs for this process.

Using your tongs, grab a piece of the chicken and place it one of the bags of flour. Coat well, then add to the bag of eggs, toss to coat, then use the tongs to place it in the third bag of flour. Toss to coat well; I use my hands outside of the bag to massage it a bit. Transfer this to a wire rack and let sit until you are ready to fry. Repeat this process until you are completed.

In a deep fryer, add your oil. I use canola oil as my daughter is allergic to peanuts, otherwise I would fry with peanut oil. Heat on medium-high heat for a five minutes or so. Once the oil is heated through, begin to add the chicken, careful not to overcrowd. You will want to watch the temperature as you do not want to burn the chicken, and you also want to use new tongs to move the chicken around from time to time. The fry process can take nearly fifteen minutes, if not longer for each batch. When the chicken become golden brown, remove from the oil, drain any remaining oil (I used a strainer lined with paper towels), and hit the chicken with seasoning. Serve hot, or heck even cold.

This one is awesome for chicken tenders as well. Enjoy.

Chappatis with Garlic Sauce

ChappatiYou might have known by now, but I enjoy exploring food from other cultures. Not too far back I made dishes like curry and hummus. Exploring Indian food has been something on my mind for quite some time now, in particular the flat breads. In this post I bring you something like the tortilla to the latin community, the chappati. I came across this flour in my local grocery believe it or not. So I purchased it, and upon checking out, I get the usual strange look for the checkout girls, a look like ‘what the heck is that?’. I brought this home and got to work. These are so simple to make, much like the tortilla, and in fact, I used the tortilla press (which I highly recommend getting) to shape and flatten them out.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of Chappati flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of water, room temperature

ChappatiBegin by mixing your flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Here is the fun part, probably much like making pasta. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and begin to add the water, mixing in the edges of the flour, gradually. When everything is mixed, add the oil and begin to knead for a few minutes, shape into a ball, then cover with a damp towel or with Saran Wrap for nearly 30 minutes.

When you are ready to roll, or press for my purposes, you can use a bit of flour for dusting, then shape into equal parts, approximately 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Flatten and roll out into a circle shape, approximately 5-7 inches in diameter. If you are using the tortilla press, following my process I did for my empanadas. Once flattened, I heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. No oil is needed here as the oil is already in the dough. Add a chappati to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. They might begin to bubble and that is ok, this is just telling you that it is cooking just fine. Flip, and continue to cook for a couple more minutes. Once ready, I simply put in a tortilla warmer. If you do not have one, cover with a towel. Repeat the process until you are done.

Garlic Sauce with LemonMy entire family loved these. They are similar to a tortilla, however seem a bit more healthy in nature. I served these with a homemade roasted chicken with garlic sauce.

For the garlic sauce, it doesn’t get any easier. In a blender, add these ingredients:

  • 2 bulbs, yes bulbs of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

Put in the garlic, salt, and lemon juice into a blender (NOT a food processor) and blend until smooth on medium speed. Begin to slowly add in the olive oil. Continue to blend on the same speed. The mixture will form a texture much like mayonnaise. You can store this in the refrigerator in a glass container for up to a week or so, if it lasts that long. 🙂 This goes great with grilled meats, or drizzled on lettuce, or spread on chippatis.

Garlic Soup

Garlic SoupBefore I go on, this soup is a must make. Not only is it simple to make, but it is amazing in flavor. My parents have been wanting me to make a garlic soup recipe that they state is ‘out of this world’, and trust me, I think about it a lot, however I have yet to make it. Instead, I made my own. Simple ingredients, great flavors. Lets just say that my wife and I looked at one another and defined it as a money making soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Heads roasted garlic
  • 3 potatoes, cut in small cubes
  • 2 Large Leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 Large Onion (I used one medium yellow, and 1/2 medium red)
  • 8-12 cups of Chicken stock
  • Heavy Cream
  • Olive Oil

Garlic SoupIt does not get any easier than that. Start by peeling your garlic. I do this by separating the cloves (I wack them with my knife, which allows for easier peeling). Add them to a small bowl and toss with olive oil to lightly coat. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 and once heated, add the garlic to a baking pan, uncovered, and roast for 20-25 minutes. During the roasting time, chop your onions, potatoes, and leeks. You will want to make sure that after you chop the leeks that you clean them thoroughly as dirt gets between the skin. Once you have prepared the vegetables, heat a large soup pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and leeks and let them sweat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock and the garlic, and bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for roughly 25 minutes.

Garlic SoupThe next step is to use a blender or an immersion blender to puree soup. Be mindful that when adding hot soup to a blender, to carefully not overfill, as well as use a towel to cover the top seal of the blender. Pressure can build up and explode, trust me, it has happened to me before. I actually used a large spoon that allowed me to strain the vegetables from the broth. I transferred the vegetables to the blender, then added a cup or so of the broth to move things through. You could get rustic here and let it go a bit chunky, however I pureed mine. Pour the mixture back into the soup broth, and bring back to temperature.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into your soup bowls and sprinkle a bit of nutmeg on top. You can serve this alone, or trust me, it would go good with pretty much anything onion, potato, and garlic go with. Enjoy.

Crab Rangoon

Crab RangoonWhen I first moved back to Milwaukee nearly eight years ago, our first visit after driving hours upon hours from Dallas, Texas, was a Chinese restaurant called China Palace. The menu was quite large, the atmosphere was laid back, and two things stood out. The first was our waitress who was overly nice and would also say ‘Thank You’ to any of our requests. The second was the crab rangoon. I cannot say that I had a crab rangoon prior to China Palace, but what I took away from it was how much my wife loved the crab rangoon. I later found out that one of my coworkers, one who seldom dines at our local Chinese buffet restaurant, as we define a Pink Poo Palace, loves the crab rangoon, possibly more so than that of my wife.

Crab RangoonEver since I saw the delight coming from my wife based on the delicious flavor of the crab rangoon, I knew I had to make them. With that said, we stopped eating at the China Palace, possibly due to the fact that we moved into the suburbs, but also likely that I mastered the crab rangoon.

The recipe is super easy to make and can be massaged into whatever flavors you see fit. For example in my last batch, I added more green onion as I was looking for a more punchy flavor to go with my Thai beef.

Ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 cloves chopped Garlic
  • 1-2 Green Onion or scallions
  • Flaked crab meat, or imitation crab
  • Wonton Wrappers
  • Egg wash
  • Oil

Crab RangoonTo begin, add the cream cheese (1 package), garlic, onion, and crab meat into a food processor. You will combine and break this down into a course paste. Once combined, bring it out into a bowl. Break an egg, only reserving the egg white, then lightly beat. Now you are ready to wrap. Now keep in mind that you can also wrap these any way you want. My wife likes them balled up, then twisted, much like a traditional rangoon, however this time around, I simply folded them into triangular shapes. No one seemed to complain. 🙂

Add about one tablespoon of the mixture into the middle of the wonton. Brush on egg wash around the edges of the wonton, and fold over to make a tight seal. Continue to do this for all of your rangoons. When you are ready, heat a medium pan on medium to high heat and add enough of your cooking oil so that the rangoons will fry evenly. Once the oil is heated (test by adding a corner of one of the rangoons into the oil and if it begins to fry, you are ready), add a few of the rangoons. You do not want to add too much as you do not want them to stick together, so be mindful of that. Fry them until golden brown, then remove and let drain on paper towel. Transfer to your serving dish and serve with a nice sweet and sour sauce, gingered soy sauce, or heck, no sauce at all. Enjoy.