Thursday, March 03, 2005

about a boy

#1 son, tall and gangly at almost 16, is always famished. he comes bounding into the kitchen everyday, "what's for dinner mom?". last night when i said, "fried chicken." he said, not chicken again. so i harrumphed. last time we had chicken was two days ago? not an unreasonable length of time, surely? so i told him, he could have ramen (instant noodles). he said, fine. i said, fine. (self to babyrambutan, let it go, pick your battles, he'll be sweet again when he's in his 30's...)

it's a four step chicken fry method which i learned from an old Gourmet magazine issue, Claritha's fried chicken wings. i thought i'd try with chicken thighs. i knew i had to adjust the frying time and be careful that it'd not be bloody chicken (as no doubt my teenager must have muttered to himself last night).

start early in the day to allow enough brining and marinating time.
first step is to brine the chicken in rock or kosher salt (so it doesn't melt quickly but will coat the chicken enough to flavor and tenderize); for 8 chicken thighs i used 1/4 cup of salt, for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hours.
rinse and drain the thighs thoroughly.
put the chicken in a large shallow glass bowl. pour enough well-shaken buttermilk to cover the chicken. slice 1 large white onion thinly and mix into the chicken.
marinate for at least an hour.
put about a cup and half of all purpose flour in a sturdy plastic or brown paper bag.
mix in seasonings of choice (just salt and pepper for my tender-taste-budded kittens, but i can think up all sorts of popeye's fried chicken type of seasonings like paprika, cajun spices, szechuan pepper, etc...). plop chicken thighs in and seal and shake the bag to ensure all-over-coating. place the meat into a rack over a sheet pan and let stand at least 15 minutes to dry.

preheat oven to 350F.
deep fry in very hot oil, about 375F about 12 minutes. drain in rack over oven proof sheet and put in oven to keep hot. you may have to fry in a couple of batches, or fry in two pans.

forgot garnish!
yes, there is no "borloloy"(accessories) for the photo op, the kids were hungry. it was heavenly crispy and tasty, served with steamed green beans and okra and mashed potatoes ala Delia Smith and chef celia K, and no, #1 son did not touch it last night.
but. today is "leftover night". guess what he wants to eat for dinner?