Crispy Fried Chicken - made November 6, 2010 from Modern Classic Book 1 by Donna Hay (Book #7)
Of the 200+ cookbooks I own, maybe less than 10 are non-dessert books. This is one of them. I like Donna Hay’s cookbooks as they’re pretty simple and streamlined. Not a lot of fuss and the few recipes I’ve tried from her cookbooks have pretty much all turned out. When you’re cooking-impaired like me, that’s a big deal. Despite my efforts, I can’t live on cookies and brownies and leftovers from Mom all the time. Once in awhile I do the adult thing and cook my own food.
is one of those things I enjoy eating but it seems easier to get a bucket of chicken from the Colonel or Popeye’s and let someone else do the work instead of making it from scratch myself. But, thanks to my baking (or cooking) challenge to use all of my cookbooks at least once, I decided to try this recipe from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics Book 1. The recipe was simple enough – soak chicken in buttermilk overnight, bread it, fry it, bake it. I could do that. Two things I varied from the recipe: 1) I couldn’t find Chinese five-spice powder at the grocery store but I did have allspice from previous cooking attempts so I made the substitution. And 2) for the life of me, I also couldn’t find whole cut-up chicken and actually starting with a whole chicken and cutting it up myself was WAY too advanced for me. Fortunately, Costco caters to people like me and sell packages of so that’s what I used because drumsticks are the best when it comes to fried chicken.
This was pretty easy to make. I didn’t fry the drumsticks for very long for no other reason than I got impatient hovering over the stove, frying the darn things. Plus I figured I was going to bake them anyway and that should finish cooking them, right? I ended up baking them for 30 minutes which is the time it took me to put together a pound cake (next post) and I took them out because I didn’t want my pound cake batter to sit, unbaked, for too long. The drumsticks turned out fairly well – they were juicy and the coating, while not as crisp as I imagined, was still pretty good. The nice thing about making oven-fried chicken this way is the oil from the frying dripped off into the baking pan so it was good to think I wasn’t eating as much oil as I normally would had I gone the KFC route. However, do spray the wire rack you bake the chicken on as they did stick a bit and left some of the coating on them. I did line the baking pan itself with foil so that helped immensely with cleanup. The breading/batter didn’t have a lot of flavor and I ended up putting some of the bigger pieces of chicken back into the oven after the pound cake came out as they were still a little pink but overall, this was good enough. I wouldn’t quite rate it company-ready and would just chalk it up to one of the foods I can make without poisoning myself.
3 ¼ lb whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups buttermilk
Peanut oil for deep frying
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground chili
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and pour over the buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (I left it overnight.)
2. To make the flour coating, mix the flour, salt, chili, pepper and Chinese five-spice in a bowl (allspice can be substituted). Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and shake off any excess. Toss each chicken piece in the flour coating and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken pieces a few at a time and cook for 6-8 minutes or until a deep golden color. As they are cooked, place the chicken pieces on a wire rack in a baking tray.
4. When all the chicken is fried, place the tray in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. I left mine in for 30 minutes to cook the chicken well. Otherwise, fry it longer and bake it less.