Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spicy Southern Fried Chicken #PicnicGame

A picnic in the southern United States just wouldn’t be complete without some fried chicken. My grandmother always fried hers in peanut oil because of its health benefits with the added bonus of a very high smoke point, ensuring the chicken will get crunchy on the outside, keeping it tender on the inside.

Did you know that today is International Picnic Day? Yep, that’s right. Why it falls on a Wednesday is anybody’s guess but at the very least, even if you have to work today, let me encourage you to take your lunch outside and find a picnic bench and enjoy it in the sunshine. In celebration, I'm playing the picnic memory game with my Sunday Supper friends. Starting with the letter A, we each bring something, going around the circle, trying to remember all the things from A to Z.  As you can see from the title, I’m going on a picnic and I am bringing something that starts with an S: Spicy Fried Chicken! If you’d like to play along, make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see what everyone else is bringing to share. Read through the list and see how many you can remember!

If you’ve read my About Me page, you know that my grandmother’s fried chicken is one of those things I keep trying to duplicate. Mine’s good, because all crispy fried chicken is good, but it just isn’t the same as when she made it for me. I am also open to trying other people’s fried chicken recipes. Because, once again and repeat after me, there is no bad fried chicken. A number of years ago my daughters gave me Maya Angelou’s memoir/cookbook, Hallelujah! The Welcome Table.  *Affiliate link* Her fried chicken recipe calls for marinating the chicken for an hour in a generous quantity of fresh lemon juice. I was a little skeptical at first, but I can tell you, it brightens the flavors beautifully without being overwhelmingly lemony. I like to add a bunch of cayenne too to make it spicy but otherwise, this is essentially Maya Angelou’s fried chicken. Just one more reason to admire our late poet laureate and mourn her recent passing.

Ingredients
1 chicken (Mine was a huge fryer, about 6 lbs and a pack of just wings)
2 cups or 480ml fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons cayenne

For dredging the chicken:
2-3 cups or 250-375g flour

For frying:
3-4 cups or 710-950ml peanut oil

Method
Wash and dry the chicken with some paper towels and cut it into pieces.  Put all the pieces into a big Ziploc bag or a large bowl and add the fresh lemon juice.



Put it in the refrigerator for one hour, turning the chicken halfway through to make sure the top pieces get their share of lemon juice time.

Rinse, dry and season the chicken generously with salt, black pepper and cayenne.  I say three teaspoons of cayenne in the ingredients list but truth be told, I just keep sprinkling it on until the chicken is covered in red. We like our chicken spicy.



Put your flour in a paper grocery bag. This was something my grandmother insisted on. Plastic would not do.

Dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour.



Heat your oil in large pot. I use a heavy roaster, just like my grandmother did. Ideally, the oil should be at 375°F or 190°C when the chicken is added. Add a few pieces of the chicken and cover.



Fry on high until brown on both sides.



Reduce heat to low, cover the pot leaving just a small gap, and cook for 30 more minutes.





Remove from heat, drain on paper towels (an extra paper grocery bag also works well) and serve hot.  I pop mine into a warm oven if I am not serving immediately and to keep the first batch warm while I fry the rest.



Repeat the process until all the chicken is cooked.


Enjoy!

Today we are celebrating International Picnic Day by bringing you a basket packed with goodies from A to Z, in the style of the picnic game!

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...


Asian Chicken Salad from Try Anything Once Culinary
Beautiful Beet Salad from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Chicken Muffuletta from Marlene Baird
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups from The Dinner-Mom
Elote from Peaceful Cooking
Fennel Slaw from FoodieTots
Greek Farro Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Honey Porter Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Skewers from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Italian Pasta Salad from Casa de Crews
Japanese Plum Sushi from NinjaBaking.com
Kudos Kitchen Kolaches from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake from In The Kitchen With KP
Molasses Lovers Baked Beans from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Northern Bean Salad with Egg and Prosciutto from Family Foodie
Orzo Salad from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
PICOBLAT from Simply Healthy Family
Quinoa-Stuffed Grape Leaves from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Roasted Fingerlings with Capers and Dill from Peanut Butter and Peppers

and Spicy Southern Fried Chicken! 

Drop by the Sunday Supper Movement to see the rest of the alphabet and the whole picnic spread out on our virtual blanket.


This leg is for you! 



No comments :

Post a Comment

Where in the world are you? Leave me a comment! It makes me happy to know you are out there.