Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fried Chicken in Lard: I Can Feel My Blood Slowing Down

About every two years I deep fry chicken at home, despite the hot oil that spatters everything in the kitchen and the unhealthy aspect. So last weekend I cooked up a batch of chicken in corn oil for my wife and I. The results were not as good as I had expected. KFC and Popeye's certainly do a MUCH better job.

But today I had some leftover raw chicken in the fridge so I kicked it up a level by cooking a roiling deep-fry solution of pure lard and a stick of unsalted butter, topped with olive oil and two slices of bacon. And in went the chicken legs, dunked deep down into this heart attack-causing mixture ...

Amazingly, it wasn't much better than the chicken cooked in corn oil. What the hell am I doing wrong? Makes me think there's real genius behind that Kentucky Colonel's secret recipe. I love discovering that something you thought was simple is in fact quite difficult.
Comments:
it's not necessarily what you fry it in (althought it makes SOME difference) it's the batter that you make to coat the chicken in that gives it its flaver and level of crispy-ness.
 
LB

notice that "one" of your Favorite ingrediants is used in this fried chicken recipe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw9lPvzw3cI

just trying to help.

Tex anon
 
dilkman has it right.

I pan fry since I don't have a deep frier, and I use Peanut Oil because it just tastes good...


1 part Corn Starch
1 Part Corn Meal
1 Large Egg (can substitute milk)
Spice to taste (I like onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, and smoked paprika)

Mix the corn starch and meal on a plate or in a bag. Mix the spices in with the corn starch/meal mixture.

Crack the egg in a bowl and scramble. Put a few dashes of your favorite chipotle Tobasco sauce scrambled in with the egg.

Either brush the egg on or dip the meat into the egg mix (easier to brush if its bone in). Then, shake and bake in a bag or dredge the meat in breading mixture on the plate. Pan fry until golden brown or you think its done.

If you use butter or olive oil, cook at a lower heat and for a little longer. Those two fats burn easily. Peanut oil has a high burn temperature so it works great. So does Canola or Vegetable.

This mixture works really well on strong fish too, like Lake Trout, Salmon, or Steelhead. Skip the corn meal and just use corn starch for flaky fish like haddock or cod and it works for those too. Play with the spices until you get what you want out of it.
 
I think peanut oil is best. I probably burned the lard/butter/olive oil mixture because it was nearly black when I was finished. That probably screwed up the taste.
 
French frying actually makes use of rendered beef suet, which is aMAZing to fry stuff in. Lard ought to work, though I would DEFINITELY skip adding the butter.

Batter needn't be too awfully complicated; could be a fancy seasoned recipe of your creation, could be flour & water.

The magic lies in the cooking.

For best results, I cook in two steps: the first at a lower temperature for a longer time, in order to cook the chicken through. Then, I flash-fry at a higher temperature to brown and crisp the outside.

YMMV.
 
Try deep frying using a cast iron pot over and over and over again. The cast iron absorbs flavors - so you should never use soap, just rinse with hot water and get a paper towel and dry it off.

The other thing that makes the fried chicken is using the right rub. My friends swear up and down using flour, salt and pepper, and any of the spices used in the Louisiana Bayou recipes (cayenne, cajun seasonings, etc). Dip in Egg, roll in the rub, deep fry this shit out of it.
 
You don't get heart problems from lard... only man made fat.
 
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