Friday, April 10, 2015

Fried Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potato

     A Popular Fried Chicken And Mashed Potato Variation!
     Fried Chicken and regular mashed potatoes is a classic combination.  Fried Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes has been a popular entrée in casual restaurants for about the last 25 years.  There is a reason why.  The combination tastes great together!

     There are a zillion different ways to fry chicken.  Southern Fried Chicken uses buttermilk instead of egg wash.  There are also some Southern Fried Chicken recipes that only use seasoned flour with no liquid wash.  Southern Fried Chicken is pan fried in a cast iron skillet.  Flavored grease and lard is most often used for the frying.  
     Egg washed deep fried chicken is not really a southern cooking style.  If egg wash is used and the chicken is deep fried in oil, then it should not really be called Southern Fried Chicken.  This style is regular standard fried chicken and this is how today's recipe is prepared. 
     The dry mix for fried chicken can be made with a combination of different flours, cracker meal or corn meal.  The most common is plain white wheat bread flour seasoned with only salt and black pepper.  Adding herbs and spices jazzes the flavor up a bit.  The seasoned flour for today's recipe has traditional flavor that is pretty much the standard for regular fried chicken in restaurants.  

     There is nothing tricky about deep frying, but it is important to keep the oil at a steady 350ºF temperature as a minimum.  For small batch deep frying, heating the oil to 360ºF reduces the oil temperature recovery time after the chicken is placed in the oil.  
     Oil heated over 400ºF will smoke and it cannot be saved for frying more food at a later date.  Good used frying oil must be filtered and refrigerated so it does not go rancid.  Used frying oil can even be stored in a freezer, if the chilled oil is not used within 7 days.     
     Some cooks worry about the chicken drying out from frying for too much time.  I judge the frying time just by looking at the color.  As you can see in the photos above, the crispy golden brown fried chicken breast that was cut in half does show that the meat is very moist and juicy!  
     If judging fried food by the color is not something that can be easily done, then use a probe thermometer.  Place the probe thermometer in the center of the thickest piece of chicken.  The temperature has to be at least 165ºF for 15 seconds for the chicken to be fully cooked.  
     Basic Tips For Small Batch Stove Top Deep Frying:
     • Be sure the stove has an exhaust fan that works.
     • Be sure the kitchen has a fire extinguisher that is rated for oil fires.  I have seen frying pots crack after long usage and riveted handles on pots do eventually become loose enough for a leak to occur.  It only takes a small amount of oil to start a fire and an oil fire can get out of control quickly.
     • Keep small children out of the kitchen when deep frying.  Eliminate all distractions.
     • Wear protective clothing to prevent hot grease spatter burns.
     • Deep Frying Oil and Deep Frying Lard foam less than regular vegetable oil.  Never use olive oil or flavored oils for deep frying.
     • Use a high sided pot when doing small batch deep frying.  The taller and wider the pot, the safer it will be.  
     • Use a probe thermometer to check the frying oil temperature.  For a large 5 gallon capacity restaurant deep fryer, a temperature of 350ºF is good.  For small batch frying in a pot at home, 360ºF will ensure a quick oil temperature recovery time.
     • Never heat frying oil to temperatures higher than 375º or the oil will scorch and smoke. Smoking oil vapor is a very dangerous fire hazard.
     • The chicken must be completely submerged in the hot deep frying oil.  Make sure there is enough oil in the pot to cover the chicken with 1" of extra oil.  Never fill a pot more than half way up with frying oil.  About 6" to 8" of oil in a tall pot is enough for small batch frying.    
     • Be sure the entire surface of each piece of chicken is thoroughly coated with the seasoned flour, so the meat does not make contact with the hot oil.  The juices from the meat will cause hot oil spattering.  Moist oil vapor is a fire hazard.
     Standard Deep Fried Chicken:
     This recipe is yields 1/2 chicken.
     Step 1:  Heat some vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360ºF.  The oil should be about 6" to 8" deep.
     Step 2:  Cut 1/2 of a chicken into leg, thigh, wing and breast sections.  (Leave the skin on the chicken.  If the chicken breast is extra large, then cut it in half.)
     Step 3:  Place 3 cups of flour in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of marjoram.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground sage.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of oregano.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Step 4:  Whisk 2 large eggs in a second mixing bowl.
     Step 5:  Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour.
     Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash.
     Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour again.
     Step 6:  Place the biggest pieces of the chicken in the hot frying oil first.
     Then place the smaller pieces of the chicken in the oil.
     Let the chicken fry undisturbed, till it is crispy golden brown!
     *About 15 minutes is what it takes.  The frying time does depend on the size of the chicken pieces.  A probe thermometer inserted in the center of the thickest piece of fried chicken must read 165ºF for 15 seconds, in order for the chicken to be fully cooked.
     Step 7:  Place the fried chicken on a wire screen roasting rack on a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Allow the piping hot fried chicken to cool to a safe serving temperature on a stove top.
     Garlic Mashed Potato:
     This recipe yields 2 portions.
     This is not a roasted garlic mash potato recipe!  This garlic mash potato style has a bolder flavor.
     Step 1:  Sauté 4 cloves of minced garlic with 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium low heat.
     When the garlic turns a light golden brown color, pour the garlic butter into a mixing bowl.
     Keep the garlic butter warm on a stove top.
     Step 2:  Place 10 ounces of peeled russet potato in a pot of water.
     Boil over medium high heat till the potato is soft.
     Drain the water off of the cooked potato.
     Step 3:  Place the boiled soft potato in the mixing bowl with the garlic butter.
     Add 2 tablespoons of cream.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped parsley.
     Step 4:  Whisk the potatoes, till they are smooth.
     Place the garlic mashed potatoes into a star tipped pastry bag.
     Keep the bag warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.
     Fried Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potato:
     Pipe the garlic mashed potatoes on a plate.
     Set the fried chicken pieces around the potato.
     Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig.
     Serve with your favorite hot sauce on the side!

     Nothing beats good fried chicken with hot sauce!

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