KFC: Kawartha Fried Chicken Live Blogging

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photo(1)I’m a bachelor.

At least for the weekend.

Krista is away, you see.  Off to Wiarton/Tobermory for a weekend of photographing wildflowers as a part of the Annual Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival.

As a result, I’ll be drinking a bit more beer than usual and caving to my carnivorous leanings.  I may also be playing rock and roll at volumes best appreciated while alone.

Last night, I grilled the perfect striploin from my good friends at Primal Cuts — my definite go-to source for naturally raised, local meats.  Tonight, I’m setting up for an evening of hockey watching by making some good ol’ fashioned fried chicken and fries.

The fries, which I’m sure I’ll blog at some point in the future, will be double-cooked.  To give you a very quick overview: blanch the potatoes (cut into 1/4 inch sticks) in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.  Dry thoroughly on a paper towel.  Fry.

The chicken?

Well, that’s where this blog comes in.  I’ll be live-blogging the process as I go.  Feel free to follow along on Twitter @farm_to_table or on Facebook at Peterborough Farm to Table Culinary Tours.  Be sure to “like” my page while you are there.

Note: I totally blame this fried chicken binge on Chef Brad Watt of Rare Grill House.  Brad has been offering up his “Back Door Chicken” every blue moon for the past little while.  Announcing it online, he takes orders from the first dozen or so people to contact him.  He sells it out the back door of his restaurant.  For some reason or another, I’ve always missed his announcements — and only received the reviews, which have all been stellar.  As a result, my fried chicken craving has been dangerously high for weeks now.

But back to my chicken.

Yesterday afternoon, I took 6 chicken legs, and prepped them for today.  The recipe:

6 chicken legs (drum removed from thigh)
1 carton of Kawartha Choice buttermilk
2 medium onions
1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary and thyme (or a bit more)
2 teaspoons of ground Anaheim pepper (or 1 each of paprika and cayenne)

1.  Mix all ingredients, except the chicken.
2.  Pour into a container with a well-sealing lid.
3.  Submerge chicken.
4.  Refrigerate overnight

I’ll be back online later tonight to explain the next steps.

In the meantime, game one of tonight’s double-header (Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings) is about to begin.

I may have to open a beer.

chicken 1OK, folks. Time to make the flour mixture for crispy chicken.

Mix well.

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (note, this is one of the few times you’ll see me using garlic powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground Anaheim peppers — or use 1/2 and 1/2 paprika and cayenne
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1. Place all ingredients into a plastic bag and shake well to mix ingredients.
2. Drain chicken in a colander.
3. Toss chicken in the flour mixture in the bag — a few pieces at a time to allow for even coating.
4. Let chicken dry for at least a half hour.
5. You can toss the chicken in the flour mixture again to cover any of the bare patches.

chicken frying 1We’re not at the frying stage.  Please note that I do recommend using home deep fryers — or taking some strong safety precautions.  Here at Farm to Table, we don’t do much deep frying — or pan frying for that matter.  But there are some safety precautions built into the chicken frying endeavour.  First of all, we have a closed element ceramic stove — no exposed elements to potentially light the oil.  Also, I had a candy thermometer handy and made sure the oil kept to a very steady 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1.  Preheat your oil to 350 degrees — use a thermometer.
2.  Place your chicken skin side down (for the thighs, it doesn’t really matter for the drumsticks).  Use metal tongs.  Cook chicken in small batches in order to keep the oil at a steady temperature and to make things easier to monitor.
3.  Cook for roughly 10 minutes — note: do not leave the stove. Glue yourself there.
4.  Turn and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 160  degees. I remove the chicken from the oil and use a quick-read meat thermometer.
5.  Let chicken rest for 5 minutes.  The internal temperature will reach 165 degrees.
6.  Serve with chips and a good hot sauce.

OK folks, that’s all for now.  I have some chicken that I need to dive into.
chicken finished 3chicken and chips 3