Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My Quest for the Perfect Fried Chicken---Take 3


Alternately titled, Close, but no cigar.

So, here's my third attempt at making the 'perfect' fried chicken.

This recipe also comes from the Fried Chicken episode of Tyler's Ultimate.

Lots and lots of work for this one. First, brine chicken in a sweet tea mixture: strong tea, sugar, lemon (zest and quarters), salt and more water. Let it hang out in the fridge for two days...(!)

Providing you haven't forgotten about it, drain and blot dry the chicken. Dredge first in flour, then eggs mixed with buttermilk, and finally flour, masa, Old Bay seasoning, chili powder, and Kosher salt and pepper.

Fry at a lower-than-usual heat.

Of the three recipes from this episode, this was by far the best.

But still...? Not what I want.

Crispier coating; sure. But not like that un-named fast food chain...which is what I'm aiming for. The flavor of the coating was good; but while it began crunchy, it quickly turned soggy!

The tea-brining...I liked. But, it was (again) too salty. Half a cup of Kosher salt in the brine!

Oh, well...we're getting closer. I'll just keep making fried chicken recipes (at least a week apart, thank you) until it's right!

And don't forget---Blog Party #2, Tiki Party, is just EIGHT days away!

18 Thoughts for food:

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Cate said...

Have you checked out some of the copykat recipes for KFC-clones?

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

I actually did...but they didn't quite seem to be what I wanted, either!

I'll just keep a huntin'.

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Clare Eats said...

hmmm I think it will be ard to replicate, the main reason being that the cook the chicken in pressurised fryers which changed the texture completly, other than that it is herbs and spices and water :)

At 7:10 AM, Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

It will e hard, clare. UNless u got a pressurized fryer, dont think we can get the same crispiness, Stef. Unless u got a commercial warmer that will keep the skin crisp up to 45 minutes.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Kevin said...


Personally, I think you're crazy. But then I like that in a person.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Alanna said...

No solace here but I know my mother tried for yeeeeeaaars to replicate my grandmother's (and her mother-in-law's ) fried chicken. No go. For brine questions, if you have back issues of Cook's Illustrated, they've carried on several conversations re types+quanty of salt:water:time.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Clare, you may be right.

But I know we can come up with something even vaguely resembling decent fried chicken.

Maybe it's a hold-over for me: it's almost ten years since I've actually had chicken. Faux meat is ok, but I guess I need to jazz it up a bit and make it special!

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Foodcrazee...odds of us having a pressure cooker and a warmer are not good, I'm afraid.

I'll just keep plugging away; eventually, one batch has to come out right!


At 11:22 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Kevin...I'm going to take that as a compliment.

And you just wait till you see what I have planned for later this year!

Call me crazy now...completely off my rocker, later.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...


I'm afraid I don't get Cook's Illustrated. Vegetarian Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living (as well as Donna Hay when I can find it)...if I subscribe to any more, Matt might be unhappy.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Laura said...

on subscriptions, we have the New Yorker. The Sept. 5 2005 issue was devoted to food. I loved it, great articles. If you can find it check it out, or I can mail ya photocopies of the best ones.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...


I think the in-laws get the New Yorker; I'll have Matt check tonight. Otherwise...you're on!

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous cj said...

okay… here's another thought. (the flour/wet stuff/flour thing is getting close, right?) so mix a little corn starch with the final flour bath. I've used corn starch straight for tempura and it's worked… flaky and crunchy.

At 1:27 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Thanks, cj!

I'll definitely give that a try.

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Stephanie - I must have missed something along the way. I thought you were a vegetarian. Are you starting to eat chicken now?

Sorry, can't help with the fried chicken. I've never made it and can only recall my mom making it once (though she insists she never made it).

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Cathy...you didn't miss anything.

I continue to cook meats for Matt, but I prepare faux meats for me and Alex.

Veat for a chicken substitute.

And do you notice how mom's conveniently forget things? Mine does it all the time!

At 8:09 AM, Blogger fooDcrazEE said...

Steph, have u tried milk instead of egg when u dipped the chicken before the flour ? Someone said its good.

jamieoliver's forum

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

foodcrazee...thanks for the tip! I can't recall using just milk, so I'll definitely add that to my list of 'worth a try'.


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