Thursday, October 25, 2012

Let's Fry Some Chicken

Frying Chicken always looked so simple when Mama made some or one of my Aunts or Grandmothers, but actually doing it seemed perplexing. I love all kinds of Fried Chicken, I always assumed I would love deep-fried chicken best, but then I would think about the flavorful, tender fried chicken Mama made in her electric skillet. After reading lots of ways online, I decided to do my own deal. So here is my Fried Chicken recipe, and remember you don't have to use cast iron, but it sure helps.

Cousin Timmy’s Fried Chicken

1 cut up chicken (or 8 of your favorite pieces)
2 cups flour (self-rising or plain)
2 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika (I prefer smoked paprika)
vegetable oil or shortening for frying
*brine is 4 cups water and ¼ cup of sea salt

Rinse chicken off under faucet, place in one-gallon plastic zip-lock bag, add 4 cups water and the ¼ cup salt for brining. Seal and “smoosh” around to distribute chicken and salt. Place in fridge for several hours, (I like to leave mine overnight).

Remove chicken and rinse off under tap again, dry chicken off with paper towels. Combine the flour and all ingredients in a bowl. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour mixture and lay on a paper plate. In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch Oven, pour enough oil to fill about ½ inch of the skillet, turn on MED HI. When oil is hot, roll the first piece of chicken in the flour mixture again and shake off excess flour. Add to oil, repeat process until skillet is full. Turn oil down slightly and turn chicken pieces until all pieces are brown all over.

Make sure all the chicken is done, pierce the breast pieces and make sure all the juices run clear. Big pieces will take longer that the wings and legs. Place the smaller pieces in a pan covered in foil in an oven at 275°. When all pieces are done place them in the 275° oven with the rest for about 30 minutes. This will tenderize the chicken and insure doneness. You will love this chicken.

Enjoy friends!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Turkey Craw Beans

I had never heard of Turkey Craw Beans until my old pal Fiddle Dave Pierce fixed me a bunch. These are, to me, like a cross between a half runner and a shelly bean. Nice pods with huge beans in them. They are sort-of bulbous looking but oh so tasty.
I cooked these up like Mama used to cook them, a little bacon grease and cook'em down to the bottom of the pot. What do I mean? When cooking them, mama used to cook them in water, nearly covering them and then would cook the water out of them. You get a rich flavorful tasty bean that is perfect with a piece of cornbread and a few tomato slices. If you are the type that likes veggies crispy, don't use this method to cook your Turkey Craw or any other string bean. I have also used this method on Half-Runners and Greasy Back beans.

These are quite easy to make, I don't really need to give you a recipe per se, but here is a description on how to properly cook the wonderful beans.
Start with enough beans to fill your 5 qt. cooker, (2 - 3 pounds) You will need to string these beans, you can also snap them but I like leaving them whole. In the bottom of your cooker add a couple of tbs of bacon grease, or cooking oil, and bring pot up to MED/HI. I add a tsp of Tony Chachere's and a tsp of Black Pepper. I also like to add ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 tbs dried garlic chips.

Add your beans, you can fill it all way up to the brim, as they will cook down. Now add just enough water to where it comes up just under your beans. Now, bring the beans up to a boil for about 15 - 20 mins. Turn down the heat and cook your beans to cook clowly turning them every once in a while. Cover and cook on low for a bit until tender. Now remove the lid and cook them until all the liquid has cooked off. Oh man are these good. Don't salt them too much as cooking the liquid off concentrates all flavors and the might be too salty.

Our next post will teach you to make the best cornbread ever!