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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let's talk turkey...

... or more correctly; chicken.

I can't think about politics anymore this week, so instead I'm going to share a recipe for the best fried chicken I have ever had in my life (that I had at my little sister's house a couple of weeks ago):

[Based on a recipe from the 'Blue Ribbon Bakery Cookbook' but presented here with a lot of editorial notes and adjustments from my sister Elizabeth]

Northern Fried Chicken (serves 4)


6 cups soy or canola oil (or amount necessary to fully submerge chicken pieces)
1 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 large egg whites, whisked
1/2 cup matzoh meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Salt/finely ground white or black pepper (you want to combine the two ahead of time into a shaker, for reasons that are clear below): 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons salt plus 1 teaspoon finely ground white or black pepper are the proportions you want, shake to mix well.
Fried Chicken Seasoning (see below)
Honey or Honey Dijon (which is grey poupon mixed to taste with honey, something close to half and half proportions)

1. Fill a large pot with oil to a height that will allow the largest piece of chicken to still be fully submerged. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 375 degrees. This may be quite obvious to you, but as someone who has never fried anything, I was startled at  how long you have to heat oil to reach this temperature and how crucial it is that it be allowed to do so before cooking anything in it.

2. Rinse chicken pieces, pat dry with paper towel. Place the egg whites in a large, shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the matzoh meal, flour, and baking powder. Dip each chicken piece in egg white and let excess drip back into the bowl. Next, press each chicken piece in the matzoh mix and tap off excess, making sure the piece is well-coated.

3. Working in batches, fry the chicken until dark golden, about 10 minutes for white meat and 13 minutes for dark meat. (This is my editorializing: you will be tempted to take it out before it is truly dark, but you really want to control the urge to remove the chicken prematurely.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately, while glistening and hot (and I did this to each piece as I removed it, not waiting to get the whole batch out and risk it getting at all cool) and sprinkle first with the salt and pepper mixture, and then liberally with the Fried Chicken Seasoning. Move on to the next piece of chicken while the newly seasoned bird cools.

Serve with honey, honey/mustard, or gravy

*Fried Chicken Seasoning (I've adjust quantities to suit your taste for less spicy things, as I did when I made it for you) (also, I doubled this for a single bird, and found the quantity more appropriate - I recommend you do the same.

1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
smidge, considerably less than the 1/4 teaspoon called for in the recipe, but you still want to have a bit of it for flavor, cayenne pepper

Apparently my sis is a giver too.  :-)

Tomorrow I'll post the long-awaited apple cake recipe... which comes with a story.

Posted by David Bogner on March 15, 2011 | Permalink


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I shall make mine with all the cayenne, thank you very much.

Matzoh meal, huh? That's a new one. Gotta try it.

I make mine with panko bread crumbs. Gives 'em a lot of crunch.

The best fast-food fried chicken I have eaten came from Popeye's (spicy) and Chik'-In-the-Home in Korea. (And that's the name they use--in English.) Koreans serve fried chicken with honey-mustard sauce, too.

Posted by: antares | Mar 15, 2011 2:41:29 PM

You know you're much too much of a food nerd when you can read a recipe and recognize it from a two-month old Times magazine article...

Also, drop the dried parsley. That stuff's barely palatable in general; there's no way you're gonna taste it through the rest of the seasonings. If you want dried herbs in there, use oregano, sage, thyme, or well-ground bay leaves.

Antares: I love panko, but matzoh meal will scrape the roof of your mouth less.

Posted by: efrex | Mar 15, 2011 4:33:02 PM

This looks good. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Mar 15, 2011 7:42:15 PM

And for a quick version (probably a good one for the Brits amongst your readers) crunch up cornflakes with lemon pepper and salt, dip 1cm thick strips of chicken breast in beaten egg and roll in cornflake mixture. Shallow fry on either side until cooked.
Can't wait for the apple cake recipe:-)

Posted by: Kiwi Noa | Mar 15, 2011 8:00:48 PM

Since you're talking recipies:

Posted by: LakewoodFallingDown | Mar 16, 2011 12:15:44 AM

While reading this recipe, I reflexively checked to see ifmit had dairy. I must subscribe to too many treif food blogs!

Posted by: Chavah | Mar 17, 2011 8:46:18 AM

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