Monday, August 25, 2014

Cajun Stewed Chicken

Dust it with Flour
Oh man did I outdo myself the other day fixing this wonderful dish fro some friends of mine.  This is sometimes called Chicken Stew in Cajun households.  It is also similar to the very popular "Chicken Fricassee".  This chicken is falling-off-the-bone tender and the gravy it makes is amazing on either rice or biscuits.  I have to apologize for the lack of a good finished product but many times when I finish a recipe, we're so hungry I forget to take pictures.

So here it is, the chicken pieces are whole and to be frank I like to use legs in this dish, big ones are even better.  You can use a whole chicken, (that's more traditional) I do find that using thighs or wings can leave you with many tiny bones to deal with when the chicken pieces fall apart.  I do recommend or advise to use whole chicken pieces rather than boned, skinned pieces.  Bottom line: try it with big fat legs, you'll thank me.

I am using about 5 lbs of legs for this, I think maybe 12 of them.  I season them and let them marinate in a zip-lock bag in the fridge for a while before making them, from a few hours to overnight if you have time.  Here are the ingredients.

Fry on all sides

5 lbs Chicken pieces
1 med onion (diced)
2 tbs minced garlic
6 green onions (white part diced, green part whole)
1 chicken stock cube
3 cups flour
2-3 tbs oil
2 tbs butter
2 cups AP flour
2 bay leaves
2 tbs Tony Chachere's
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp each salt and black pepper
1/2 tsp Italian herb mix
1/4 tsp cayenne

Cover with stock and green onions
Combine all herbs and spices (last 5 ingredients) and coat all pieces of chicken.  Make sure all the sides are covered.  Place in plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  After marinating, remove chicken from bag and roll in flour making sure each piece gets a good coating.  I let the chicken just lay covered up with flour while heating the oil and butter, on MED HI, in a large oven friendly pot of cast iron dutch oven with a lid.

When oil is good and hot, place the chicken in the pot and brown chicken pieces all over.  after 10 - 15 mins., add your onion and garlic.  Cook another 10 mins until the onions are cooked down.  Dissolve the chicken cube in the water and pour water over the chicken. Stir all chicken pieces until all are neatly covered by the water.  Bring to a boil for 5 mins and turn heat down to MED.  Cook for 15 mins with a lid on, then add all the green onions.  Give the chicken a good stir, place the lid back on and transfer the pot to an oven at 250 degs.

Enjoy the tenderest Chicken ever
I let my chicken go for about 2 hours in the oven, that's what make it "fallin'-off-the-bone" tender.  I like to serve this with rice, mashed potatoes, or good ol' buttermilk biscuits.  You really need to give this dish a try.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

John Wayne's Corn Dodgers

Corn Dodgers
OK, I gotta admit, I don't think these were what John Wayne was talking about in the original movie True Grit, but I found this recipe for what they called Corn Oysters and they are wonderful.  I think the term "Corn Oysters" is misleading, like "Head Cheese".  OK it's not cheese, by any stretch of the imagination, but the head part is right.

You might think these are fritters but the texture and consistency is totally different.  I use frozen corn because it seems to keep it's crisp in this recipe and I think that's the charm of this dish.  I would call these appetizers or Hors d'oeuvres, but you could serve these as a side dish and NO ONE would complain.

These Corn Dodgers couldn't be simpler, and this batch makes about 36 or so.  You'll need plenty cause no one will stop at a couple.  You have to get the oil hot and gently spoon the batter into the hot oil.  Let them get brown on the bottom before gently flipping them.  Oh boy are these good.  Give them a try!

Frying up in a pan!

2 cups frozen corn kernels (drained)
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup AP flour and SR cornmeal combined
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's
2 tbs butter
2 tbs vegetable oil

Place the corn into a bowl with warm water for 5 mins, drain the liquid off, stir in the milk, flour and corn meal, and all seasonings. Melt the butter and heat the oil in a skillet on MED/HI.  Put tablespoon-fulls of the corn batter in the hot skillet carefully.  Fry until brown on bottom, then turn over until other side browns.  Drain the dodgers on a paper towel on a paper plate. Serve warm or keep batches warm in a 200º oven until all are done.  

I sure hope you take the time to make these and try them out, Golly Ned these things are amazing.  
- Enjoy!