And yet, and yet.
Actually I did make fried chicken one time, now that I think about it. I was 12, not yet 13 I know, and had found a recipe that called for a wet batter and deep hot oil. I remember that the chicken turned out just fine but I was disappointed-I thought it would be more like KFC and it was actually like Long John Silver's battered fish fillets. Oh well. I did not have enough experience cooking at that time to make judgment calls based on just reading a recipe. I don't remember what else I fixed that night, probably mashed potatoes and something green but my older sister's boyfriend liked it and that thrilled me to no end.
That one attempt satisfied my desire to cook fried chicken, after all my grandma made it often(and way better) and I could go eat hers anytime-she would make it special if you asked just right. And believe me we asked.
My grandma had a stroke 8 years ago, the day before Maggie was born actually, and hasn't made fried chicken since.
Last night I made fried chicken(for the first time in 'gasp' 25 years) that was almost as good as hers-the only difference being her presence missing from the process. It was crazy good. It was difficult to keep enough back to feed Big Daddy D we liked it so much. I was so amazed and impressed with myself I am sure I was slightly difficult to deal with for several minutes.
Then I looked in the oven at my peach cake and came quickly back to Earth. What a mess! Tasty though.
Grandma Fried Chicken (you know, like Southern fried, only better!)
First melt 2/3 cup or so of solid shortening(I use Crisco though I do know from personal experience that lard is tastier!) in a 10-12" cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Then get started on:
2 1/2-3 lbs of chicken cut up(I got a pack of legs on sale and that worked just fine)liberally seasoned with salt and pepper
Dip the chicken pieces in:
3 eggs, well beaten
Then coat the chicken well in:
1 1/2 cups of AP flour, liberally seasoned with salt and pepper and if you are feeling frisky some cayenne, sage, onion powder and garlic powder-I am always feeling frisky!
Place the chicken in the hot(around 350degrees)oil and let brown on one side-about 5 minutes or so and turn. TURN THE HEAT DOWN TO MEDIUM LOW. Put the lid on your skillet(surely you have a pot lid that will fit) and continue to steam-fry for about 15-20 more minutes til your meat thermometer tells you the temp is close to perfect( a few degrees shy is better than over cause carry over cooking will finish but you can never uncook it you know) and remove to a clean plate.
Pour off most of the oil(you keep your old cans for that right?) trying to keep most of the crusty bits in the skillet. Return skillet to stove and add 2-3 tablespoons of your seasoned flour or fresh if you threw it out the other stuff already, and stir, cooking the flour for a few seconds til lightly browned. Salt and pepper again and then slowly pour in milk, stirring constantly, until your gravy has reached the desired consistency. No measurements here folks but be ready to use up to 2 cups of milk or combination of milk and water-it just varies depending on how much flour you used, how much oil you left in the pan and -believe it or not- the weather.
Serve the chicken and gravy with biscuits and whatever veggies you like-we had rutabagas last night.
Don't you want the recipe for the Peach Cake? It is so good of course you do. And here is your chance to learn from my mistake too!
First off you need to defrost the 2 cups peaches you put up in the freezer 3 summers ago now. If you didn't happen to crazy that year with 2 bushels of the best damn peaches in years then just use some from the freezer section of your grocery store-don't used canned peaches-please please please don't.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Butter! a 10 inch deep dish pie plate-deep dish I am telling you! Just look at the mess above and learn from my thinking that it wouldn't matter!
Sift together in a medium bowl:
1 1/2 cups naturally white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder(again I use aluminum free cause i worry about it)
1 tsp kosher salt(if you have fine grain salt use just 1/2 tsp)
In your mixer combine at medium low speed:
6 tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
til light and fluffy, then slowly add in at medium speed:
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk-also room temperature
When combined turn mixer to low and then slowly add in the dry ingredients, til just combined.
The batter is thick. Pour into the buttered pie plate and smooth the top.
Layer on the well drained peach slices and sprinkle liberally with more white sugar-up to about 1/4 cup depending on your sweet tooth.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees and then lower temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 50-55 minutes.
Leave it in the pie plate and just scoop out your servings. Delicious eaten warm with whipped cream or ice cream too I would imagine. This keeps unrefrigerated for up to 48 hours though I seriously doubt it will last in any ones house for more than a day.