Tag Archives: fried chicken

I’ll Have What She’s Having…

The lovely and talented Anne at From My Sweet Heart blog has been kind enough to give me this blogging award. In fact, it’s a cooking award, so I’m especially flattered. I don’t really consider myself a food blogger, since I tend to throw recipes and food reviews in with a bunch of random family and travel topics. As I’ve said before, my blog is a lot like my junk drawers. You never know what you’re going to find. And since I’ve started featuring The Complete Package’s recipes as well, I’m assuming I’ll have to share this award with him. Look, honey! We got a cooking award! Can you believe it? He’ll probably say that you’re all tuning in to see his recipes instead of mine. He may be right. If he is, free to keep that little nugget to yourself. I’m fragile. I can’t take that kind of rejection. It could break me, and no one wants to find me in the pantry drowning my sorrows in a pan of warm brownies. Trust me… it ain’t pretty.

In honor of Anne and her faith in my blog, here’s a rundown of some of the recipes TCP and I have posted over the past year. Click on any picture to see the full post. And Anne – thanks again. You made my day. Truly.

Posole - Mexican Stew

Mexican Martinis

Carnitas - Mexican Pulled Pork

Hidden Treasure Cupcakes

Muffaletta Sandwiches

"Chicken Bucket" Coleslaw

Crunchy Fried Chicken

Old family recipe - Sweet Pickles

Flank Steak Sandwiches

Mom's Adorable Little Piggy Buns

Smoked Pork Ribs

Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies

And in the spirit of sharing, here’s where I go to find culinary inspiration:

Comfortably Domestic
The Hill Country Cook
Jenna’s Everything Blog
A Sweet Pea Chef
Gingerbread Bagels
Brown Eyed Baker
Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Honey Sage

If you have time, click on the links above and visit these fine ladies. They are creative, inspirational and a lot of fun, and I love them all. And don’t forget to visit Anne at From My Sweet Heart. She’s a great example of the best thing about blogging – the new friends you make along the way. Have a great week!
-NB

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Winner, Winner…Chicken Dinner!

Crispy, crunchy chicken strips - the stuff legends are made of.

Okay, kids. Here’s another recipe adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen recipe collection. This fried chicken comes out crunchy and juicy every time, and it takes very little work to make it all happen. You can make this with chicken pieces on the bone, but I prefer to make boneless chicken strips. It makes them easier to dunk in gravy, and we all know everything tastes better when dunked in gravy, right? Marinating the chicken strips in buttermilk makes them juicy on the inside, and the “shaggy crumbs” method of breading makes them crunchy on the outside. My version uses only 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts but don’t let that fool you. This recipe made 18 chicken strips.

To prepare the chicken strips, you’ll need:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
One 16 fluid oz. bottle of buttermilk (low fat is okay, if you prefer)
2 teaspoons of Morton Nature’s Season Salt (Lawry’s would also work)
½ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper (optional, but very tasty)

Trim the chicken breasts to remove all fat. Slice each breast lengthwise into 1/2″ thick strips. In a medium bowl with a tight-fitting lid, pour in the entire bottle of buttermilk, the season salt and the cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine, and then add the chicken strips, seal the lid, give it a good shake and place in the refrigerator to marinate for one hour.

To prepare the flour mixture, you’ll need:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of Morton Nature’s Season Salt (or Lawry’s)
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper (it’s optional again, but so tasty!)

Toss all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Once your chicken is ready, remove it from the fridge and measure off 3 tablespoons of the buttermilk mixture. Pour it into the flour mixture and stir with a fork or wire whisk to start forming your “shaggy crumbs” coating. It sounds weird, but those bigger crumbs in your coating are what will make the crust crispy and crunchy. If needed, add more buttermilk a little at a time. Don’t worry about using buttermilk that had raw chicken in it, either. This is all going to be fried in hot oil, so it’ll be fine. When your crumb coating is ready, it should look like this:

The shaggy crumb method is the key to crunchy chicken strips.

One at a time, remove a strip from the marinade and drop it into the bowl of flour. Quickly cover the strip and using your hands, press down on the chicken strip to pack on the coating. Don’t try to flatten it onto the chicken – you just want to make sure it sticks really well. Lay each coated strip onto a sheet of waxed paper and move on to the next. When you fry them, start with the strips you coated first. That gives them time to set up a little before frying, which helps the coating to stick. Here’s how your strips should look once coated:

Those beautiful shaggy crumbs are going to turn into crispy fried perfection.

How to fry the chicken:
Using a deep, heavy bottom pot, add 1 ½” of canola oil and heat to 350F. To test if your oil is hot enough, you can drop one of your larger shaggy crumbs in. It should immediately start to bubble in the hot oil. If it doesn’t, wait for it to get hotter or you’ll get soggy, greasy chicken. Once the oil is hot, cook chicken strips 3-4 at a time and cover loosely with a lid. Cook until golden brown on each side. Don’t play with them too often. You don’t want to destroy that crumb coating. Just given them a gentle turn every once in a while. Remove to paper towels to drain, and move on to the next batch. Remember, because you’re using boneless breasts and the strips are fairly thin, these will cook pretty quickly.

When they’re done, you’ll have a platter of crunchy golden perfection. I like to serve this up with mashed potatoes (I stir in a little sour cream and a lot of real butter), my easy cheater buttermilk biscuits (I’ll share that recipe later), and some chicken gravy (made with chicken broth instead of milk). Throw in a bottle of Savannah Bee Black Sage honey, and you’ll be in hog heaven. This is southern fried comfort food at its very best. Now grab a fork and a bib and let’s dig in.

Put on your fat pants - it's time to eat!

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