I decided to make fried chicken this weekend. I've made fried chicken hundreds of times, and I've never had trouble. But for some reason I was in fried chicken disaster mode! I wanted to try the Thomas Keller recipe and so I gathered all of my ingredients, prepared the brine. I soaked my chicken all day. I meticulously followed the instructions for dredging, and I even used my candy thermometer to ensure the proper cooking temperature. I followed the directions to a T.
And.... my chicken was an artifact. It was beyond burned. Half way through I scrapped my Le Creuset pan and went back to my trusty cast iron skillet and moved my thermometer over to watch the temperature. Again. It was browning way to fast. At ten minutes it looked like it was well done but was pink and raw on the inside. I was having a panic attack watching it as it continued to cook. Knowing the end result would be bad.
I was so glad I had extra chicken because I tossed several pieces out as soon as they were "done" according to the directions. If you were able to stomach going beyond the burned crust the chicken actually tasted fine underneath. But I was disgusted and confused.
So two days later I decided I had to try again. I was not going to let the chicken win.
I started over.
Here's the magical witches brew of herbs and spices to brine the chicken. It smelled so good!
I also opted against the double dredging method Mr. Keller's recipe calls for. I think that once is enough.
See the sad little herbs in the back of the pan? That's because I used fresh herbs to infuse the oil as it was heating.
I also decided that I wasn't going to mess with pans or the stupid candy thermometer! I'm such a rebel.
But the one thing I couldn't do without due to my ocd was the cooking thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Unsafe food is not an option.
Flipped the chicken at 10 minutes... and it still looks a little bit too brown but it was fine. Put the lid back on and cooked it for 10 more minutes. The end result was perfectly cooked tender chicken.
This morning on the Today Show I heard Paula Deen say that she cooked her chicken for about 14 minutes. I'm trying to figure out how that got the meat cooked all the way through. I'm happy we ended up having a batch that was better after the second time around. I didn't feel defeated. I've also decided just to go back to my instincts and quit following directions to a T.
I'm going to share with you the link for the recipe:
Note the "Sous vide" method they mention. Sounds like a pain in the rear but might be my next experiment.
I'm a wife and mom! That about sums me up! I am blessed to be married to my best friend for 28 years now. I have 2 great kids that are grown! My hobbies include: Cooking, photography, gardening, reading, painting, and pottery, and feathering my nest! I have a project going at all times!
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