Sunday, March 16, 2014

Honey Fried Chicken

March 9, 2014

Honey Fried Chicken
Skillet Corn Bread
Fruit Salad
Brekle's Brown Ale/Vella Merlot

Honey Fried Chicken from Cook's Country 
Southern-Style Skillet Corn Bread from Cook's Country

After a couple of busy weekends where I chose quick, simple meals to cook for Sunday Dinner, I was able to spend a little more time in the kitchen. I had been wanting to try my hand at frying chicken using my recently acquired tools for deep frying. I had recently seen an episode of Cook's Country on TV featuring a recipe for Honey Fried Chicken and so chose to give it a go.

While there was nothing particularly difficult about making the chicken the process did involve many steps and created many dishes to wash.  And oil to discard. I was in the kitchen for 2 to 2½ hours total making this meal. To save a little money, I purchased a whole chicken and broke it down myself.  The breasts, which I removed from the bones, were cut in half so all the pieces of chicken were about the same size. I discarded the wing tips but kept the drumettes. The chicken pieces were brined, coated with corn starch, then dipped in a batter. They were then fried twice; similar to the method used to make french fries they were first par-fried, then allowed to sit while the oil reheated, then cooked again. Finally they were dipped in a glaze made with honey and hot sauce, a combination of Topatío and Siracha because the bottle of Topatío was empty.

The chicken was really good. I took the temperature of one piece and then timed the cooking of everything else. The dark meat was just right, hot and juicy, though the white meat was a little over done. The outside was very crisp, providing a satisfying snappy crunch when you bit into it. The glaze provided just a hint of heat to complement the sweetness of the honey, but more than that it imparted a nice flavor to the dish.

To go along with the chicken I made a savory, southern-style corn bread which uses no sugar or flour. This contrasts with the more cake-like northern style. Diane prefers the latter while I prefer the former. Finally, I made a simple fruit salad including blueberries, apple, naval orange (which, curiously, was the color of a ruby grapefruit), banana, and purple grapes.

Fried chicken is one of those foods that is almost better leftover than when fresh. It can be eaten hot or cold and so is suitable to take to work for lunch. We didn't do that, however. We reheated it in a 200° oven and had it for supper. The skin was no longer shatteringly crisp but the chicken was still very good to eat.

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