Wednesday, July 3, 2013

An All American Meal to Celebrate the 4th! Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Slaw and Buttermilk Biscuits


I've already eaten half the potato salad.  There.  I said it.

It's not an American recipe.  It's a riff off my German mother's recipe.  It's so damn good.

And yes, I fried off a few pieces of chicken.  Obviously I did.  There's a picture of it right there on your screen.  The rest of the chicken is still marinating in the buttermilk.  But I needed to share the recipe today if you want to make this tomorrow.  That means I had to make some.  But only two pieces.

And notice how well I'm spelling today?  Not a single slip on the keyboard.  You know why?  That chicken, while fried to a crispy deliciousness, it isn't at all greasy.  Just tender and crispy.

And I had to bake off a biscuit.  A plate isn't a plate without the biscuit.  And then the coleslaw?  It's always better the day after making it.  So is the potato salad for that matter.  And they all have to be present for picture day.

And there you have it.  An exact replica TODAY of what I'm eating tomorrow (again).

Happy 4th of July!  I wish you all a beautiful and tasty day.

4th of July Fried Chicken and Fixins

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CHICKEN

This recipe is for 8-10 breasts, 6 wings and 4 thighs.  This amount is the perfect amount to fit in my biggest metal bowl AND accomodate the marinade.

the marinade

1 quart buttermilk
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 packet Bearitos taco seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

•In a large metal bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup, seasoning and cayenne pepper.  Add the chicken and whirl around to make sure that every piece of chicken is coated.

•Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

the coating

4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 beer
2 eggs

(have extra on hand in the event you don't have enough for all the chicken)

Enough oil to fill a large stockpot at least 4 inches deep

•Take the chicken out of the fridge but leave it in the buttermilk.  Allow to come to room temperature.
•Preheat oven to 350º
•Heat oil to 360º
•Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.
•Whisk the beer and eggs together in a pie dish.
•Dredge the buttermilk soaked chicken in the flour mixture.
•Dredge the chicken in the beer mixture and then dredge again in the flour mixture.
•Fry until deeply golden brown.  Transfer the chicken to a paper towel to allow the oil to drain.  Transfer the pieces to a parchment lined sheet pan and place in the oven.  Bake until the chicken's internal  temperature reads 165º.
•Once the chicken reaches temperature, immediately transfer the chicken to a paper bag.  This keeps the chicken nice and crispy.

FOR THE POTATO SALAD

3 pounds new potatoes (I dug mine up from my Yukon gold plants.  If you are growing potatoes yourself, you can harvest the small/new potatoes from the plants without tearing the plant out of the ground completely so that it will continue growing more potatoes.  You just have to gently dig around the roots and gently pluck the little ones out.  The plant is hardy as heck and will continue to produce for you).
A tub of potatoes, just waiting to become potato salad.

1/2 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup mayo (I use Hellman's olive oil mayo)
10 cornichons, finely chopped (I use Maille)
1/4 + 2 tablespoons of the Cornichon pickle juice
6 dashes of Maggi (liquid) Seasoning (important addition.  Can't make this without it)
1/2 cup of fresh English Peas, shelled (optional.  again, had them in the garden begging to be eaten)
Peas!

Salt and pepper to taste
2 scapes, finely chopped as garnish (optional)

•Boil the potatoes whole, with the skins on until just fork tender.
•Don't allow the potatoes to cool completely, start peeling them the second you can handle holding them.
•Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can while still keeping their shape.  Transfer them to a large serving bowl.
•Whisk together the oil, vinegar, cornichon juice and Maggi.  Pour the mixture over the potatoes and stir gently to coat the potatoes.
•Gently stir in the mayo and then the onions and cornichon.
•Bring a few cups of salted water to a boil.  Blanch the peas in the water for 30 seconds and then drain.

Add to the potato salad.  Salt and pepper to taste.

FOR THE SLAW

1 head green cabbage, grated or thinly chopped
1 head red cabbage, grated or thinly chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 Vidalia onion, minced
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice
salt and pepper to taste

•Mix everything together.  Add more vinegar and oil if the slaw is too dry.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
(makes 8 biscuits)

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, ice cold
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon maple syrup
egg wash (1 egg whisked together with 2 tablespoons water)

•Preheat oven to 350º
•Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
•Using a cheese grater, grate the butter into the flour.  Whirl around with your fingers to evenly coat the butter with the flour.
•In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and maple syrup.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry.  Switch to your hands and gently knead the dough until it's well combined.
•Roll the dough out onto a well floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.  Stamp out rounds with a biscuit cutter and transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan.
•Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash.
•Bake until well risen and the tops are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.