2.22.2012

Old fashioned fried chicken for beginners


I had a craving for some good ole fried chicken the other night. By craving I mean that as a vegetarian I was really wanting to make it for my husband so someone else could enjoy what was on my mind. I make fried chicken a lot, with skin and bones but these last two times I wanted something faster that cooked a little more even so I used boneless skinless chicken. This is also an excellent beginner recipe. Fried chicken with bones and skin can be tricky. It can burn since it takes long to cook it, or you have to learn to poach it. Many things can go wrong. But this chicken IS IDIOT PROOF. My four year old helped me make it tonight. Here is the recipe.

6-8 Boneless skinless chicken thighs*
1.5 Cups flour
1/2 Sleeve saltine crackers smashed finely
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tsp powdered ranch dressing mix (if you don't have leave out but your missing out)
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
About 2 cups vegetable oil

Cayenne pepper to taste. I use a tsp in the flour and a tsp in the egg wash for my husbands chicken, and none for my kids

Fill a large skillet with about a half inch vegetable oil. Heat over medium low. In a bowl combine milk, eggs and half of each seasoning. On a plate combine smashed crackers, flour and remaining seasoning. To see if the oil is ready take a teeny pinch of flour and sprinkle it in oil, if it sizzles it's ready. If it POPS it's too hot, if it smokes or rolls it's too hot. Take your piece of chicken and lay it flat on each side in the flour. Then dip it in the egg mixture. Roll it in the flour again until evenly coated and then place in oil. I prefer to only cook 3 pieces at a time. This way the oil stays at temperature. Adding too much too fast will cool your oil. Preheat your oven to warm. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on it. Cook each piece of chicken about five minutes and then flip. Even if it isn't golden brown go ahead and flip. You want to cook it evenly. Cook for five minutes on the following side and then flip again. Use a knife and poke a small hole halfway into the biggest part of the chicken. If the juices run clear you are good. Put it on the cooling rack. If it needs longer continue turning it every 1-2 minutes. Once cooked through remove the chicken and place it on the rack and then put it in the oven on warm while you cook the rest of your chicken. If you keep the heat low and slow your chicken should cook evenly and none of it should burn.

You might notice little clumps of flour on your chicken after dipping it in the egg wash. This is good. That part gets tasty and crispy. It might look a little messy right before you put it in the pan but when it's done, KFC won't have nothin on you!

*(if you use breasts pound them out a little so they cook even, or butterfly them in half so they are a little bit thinner)