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Sunday, August 28, 2011

the help's fried chicken

i am in love with the book and the movie the help.  so much so that i thought i'd try my hand at fried chicken in crisco.  now, i love butter (and stock up when it's on sale at holiday time - thank goodness it freezes well) and i go through bottles of olive oil.  crisco skeeves me out.  i see a can of it and i think HEART ATTACK!  i think in the time we've been married, we had one tin of crisco, and it was to make filling for whoopie pies (and i think i tossed the tin not long after).

spoiler alert

in both the movie and the book, minny teaches her new employer cecilia how to make fried chicken.  she shows cecilia the big tin of crisco and she's in love (ick!)  then minny shows how to coat the chicken "with shake n bake" (in a brown paper bag!  love it!) then fries it up.

spoiler alert over

let me tell you, that scene left me salivating.  and dying to make fried chicken.  now i saute chicken in olive oil, but i'm a big chicken baker.  i love spatchcock chicken.  i also bake my chicken with smushed cereal to give it a "fried" appearance.  it does taste good.  but nothing taste better than old fashioned fried chicken.

i melted 2 sticks of crisco:

i soaked pieces of leg, thigh and breast in buttermilk (i forgot to flour first) and left the bag sit in the fridge for a few hours.  i made "shake n bake" with about 2 cups of flour, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and salt and pepper (a few shakes of each).

i fried up the legs first becos i thought they'd be quicker.  i fried 10 minutes on one side, 8 on the other...

lucky we had a fry screen, it would have made a colossal mess...

my stove is lopsided and the legs on the right got burnt.  perhaps i had the heat too high (i had it on medium high)...

round one: legs

i had to cook the thighs in two batches, they were so big.  here i'm knocking him out with my american fried thighs...

round 2:  thighs

the breasts were ENORMOUS.  these i cooked 10 minutes per side, and then some becos the edges didn't get cooked well...

round 3:  breasts

eat your heart out, Colonel Sanders!

the kiddos had legs, and hubby really liked the thighs.  hubby didn't know it took so long to make fried chicken.  honestly, i think i prefer baking chicken becos it takes less time and is less mess (and healthier too).

the chicken tasted okay, but was so greasy (i probably should have drained on paper towels) and honestly, not very flavorful.  i winged this recipe, and some of the ones i read suggested putting hot sauce in the buttermilk (although i thought i made up for it by putting red pepper in the flour mixture).  i probably didn't have enough flavoring.  i go easy on salt, and i was afraid of putting too much spice in the mix.

i wouldn't mind trying this again, with a tried and true recipe. have you got one?  shoot me a comment and leave one if you do!

 i promise not to make minny's special pie.  ;)

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