Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fried Chicken Southern Feast

I talk about a lot of things that I love on this blog. It's safe to say that I'm a pretty lovey- dovey person. (You should see me after a glass of wine...) But there are few things that give me butterflies more than a dinner party. (Except Rich, a glass of wine... or even better, Rich handing me a glass of wine). As I've gotten older, I've even found ways to tie all of the things that I love into a dinner party.  And with Michael's sister, Elizabeth, in town, it was the perfect time to tie all the people I love into a meal that was, if I must say so, to die for. And, if you've read my blog, you know that if I'm cooking dinner, people are gonna get fed... a lot.

Since Elizabeth is from North Carolina (she goes to college in Boone, the same little town Rich grew up in), and since I am trying to look as unattractive as possible before heading to our Palm Springs vacation, I decided that it was the perfect night for some fried chicken! I mean, when is it not the perfect time for fried chicken? Now, since I don't break out the deep frier very often (I care about my health and I would like my husband to still have three or four abs), when I do bust it out, IT'S ON! Like Donkey Kong. Which is about how big I felt after eating my way through this epic dinner. Who wants to go bikini shopping!?

Dinner Menu:
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Biscuits with Pimento Cheese
Fried Pickles
Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes
Cheddar Grits
Homemade Fresh Mint Ice Cream

3 pounds or so of chicken pieces. I used thighs and drumsticks. (If you buy happy, humanely raised, free range chickens, I will think you are a better person and so will the universe. Thanks.)
1 quart buttermilk 
4 cups unbleached flour
1 tbsp baking soda
3 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp hungarian paprika
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp kosher salt
Canola oil for frying (Or peanut, or another high heat oil)

Special Equipment:
Deep Fryer or heavy dutch oven pan (think Cast Iron Le Crueset.) We have the Breville deep fryer from Williams Sonoma and I love it.... I just wish it was 4 times bigger!

Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Let marinate for as long as possible. I marinated for about 12 hours, but overnight would be ideal!

Set deep fryer to 320 degrees. If you are using a dutch oven, use a thermometer to regulate temperature. Mix flour and spices together in a large bowl. Remove chicken from buttermilk and coat with flour mixture. Fry chicken for about 12 minutes until golden brown, crispy, and 160 degrees in the center. I am OCD and temperature check every piece of chicken! Transfer to a drying rack to drip and then keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

cheddar grits.

i spy....

and then Tuna joined us for dinner. 

*Note: We don't usually let Lucy (Tuna) sit at the head of the table,
but she hurt her paw so we wanted to make her feel better

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