Sometimes when I make a recipe, I don’t change it all. I mean, maybe I sub a different herb because I’m lazy or I have some crazy herbs growing in my backyard. Sometimes, I don’t know enough about the flavor combo/cooking technique to feel like I need to experiment just yet. Other times, I have guests coming and I’d rather not end up with an epic kitchen fail and nothing to serve. Memorial Day would fall into every single one of those categories.
I don’t remember what the occasion was or where we were when The BF was just dead set on some damn buttermilk fried chicken. He didn’t bring it up often, just often enough to let me know that was basically dreaming about it every night, multiple times, for at least a week. Luckily for him, one of my recent issues of Bon Appetit had the perfect recipe, and they threw in an awesome waffle recipe to boot.
While I’m not exactly okay with the whole “chicken ‘n’ waffles” bandwagon just yet, I felt like it was the perfect amount of patriotic for a Memorial Day get-together. I was also dying to make some awesome bourbon bacon baked beans (now there’s some alliteration for yah), and while throwing syrup on top of chicken and waffles skeeves me out to no end, slightly sweet baked beans in an oozy sauce does not. It seemed like the perfect vehicle for all my testing dreams.
I have only “deep fried” anything once, and that was an epic batch of doughnuts I made while procrastibaking in grad school. I melted something like eight pounds of Crisco and felt like it was oozing out of my pores for weeks. So not fun. So when do I decide to try frying again? Why on the balls-hottest day of summer obviously. I see no flaw in my plan, and I dare you to find one.
Everything went off basically without a hitch, though I had some difficult controlling the temperature of the frying oil because my stove has two settings – mad crazy boil and a hair above off – so the chicken was a little darker on the outside than I would have liked, and I ended up having to bake it just a little in the oven to make sure it was cooked all the way through. You can prevent this by, 1) having a decent stove and 2) letting your check come to room temperature before cooking – this ensure that the meat is the same temperature all the way through before you toss it in a giant vat of frying oil.
You can find the recipe over at bonappetit.com or in the October 2011 issue of the magazine, it’s the cover photo if I’m not mistaken. For the fresh herbs I used thyme and rosemary because that’s what I have growing in my backyard.