Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fried Chicken (and my new favorite oil!)

I have a daughter who loves fried chicken. I, of course, don't want to even think about how bad it is when bought and eaten from a restaurant, so I decided to make some for her :)  I used Bobby Flay's recipe as a base but had to alter it to work for me. After much research, I realized that I should not be frying foods in organic EVOO anymore, as it does break down and create free radicals (which can lead to cancer) at high heats. So, I turned to something that has been in my cupboard for a while (but mostly for use in baking these muffins), coconut oil. If using coconut oil, you need to make sure it is extra virgin (will maintain a coconut flavor) or expeller pressed (will not have coconut flavor), or coconut shortening (what I have been using for my frying- no coconut flavor). Coconut oil can be heated to a high temperature without breaking down, is a solid at room temperature, can be heated, cooled and reheated without destroying its integrity, and has health benefits. For more info on coconut oil, see this post from one of my favorite blogs or the Tropical Traditions site, where I typically buy my oil (incidentally this is also the site where I purchased my delish Thanksgiving turkey).

In order to eat this recipe now, I would have to exchange a different flour since I am now eating gluten free. Cornmeal would probably work well. I made it with all organic drums (since that is what Giant had this week) and the lone drum above was all that was left! It was a hit with the family :)

Fried Chicken

4 cups whole milk, with the juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and ground pepper
chile powder
1 tablespoons Tiger sauce
10 chicken drums
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
Coconut oil

Whisk together cups of milk mixture, salt, chile powder, Tiger sauce and pepper in large glass baking dish. Add chicken, turn to coat and refrigerate 4+ hours.

Pour 1 cup milk mixture in bowl or small baking dish. Mix together flour, garlic, onion, and paprika (may also add more chile powder if desired). Put one cup of flour mixture in one dish, and the rest in another dish. Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil (I used a medium sized pot and had it about half full of oil).

Dredge chicken in small flour dish, then in milk, then in second flour dish. Set on wax paper until all pieces are finished. Preheat oven to 350.

You will know the oil is ready when you drop in a little of the flour mixture and it fries quickly. You may need to turn down the oil temperature for subsequent batches as the temperature will keep increasing. Place 2-3 drums in pot at a time, fry about 5-10 minutes, turning if necessary. Once they "look done", place on oven-safe cooling rack that is on a cookie sheet. Place in oven to keep crispy, drain, and continue cooking. Repeat until finished.

I found that I could not save and reuse this oil because of all the little flour pieces left in it, although I suppose I could have strained it using unbleached cheescloth. I have made french fries with this oil and was able to save it for another time, but found that the shrimp I made in it had a distinct french fry flavor :P

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