Sunday, 12 October 2014

Southern Fried Chicken and Chips 11/10/14

This was my attempt at something like a KFC, based on various recipes I found in the Internet.

By the way, I was having a one day break from my usual low carb diet, hence having this extravagence.

Mock Kentucky Fried Chicken
1 kg chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks, half breast portions)
3 tsps table salt
Enough cold water to cover the chicken
Trim the chicken of excess fat and put in the brine for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

[Some recipes use buttermilk for this stage.] 
Enough to oil fill the deep-fat fryer Put the deep-fat fryer to 160 degrees C
150g plain flour (use self-raising?)
1tsp Anglesey sea salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp mild smoked paprika
2 tbsp cornmeal (I used my roast potato mix)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsps smoked garlic granules
2 tsps onion granules (I didn't have these)
Mix the dry ingredients together.

When the chicken has soaked, dry off and toss in the dry ingredients.
2 eggs, beaten [in a bowl large enough to take the chicken] Toss the floured chicken pieces in the egg.
Toss the egged chicken pieces in the flour again.
Place on a rack whilst finishing off (you want as few loose bits as possible in the cooking oil).
[If there is enough egg and flour mix left over you could give them, or some of them, a third coating.] 

Cook the chicken in batches for around 16 minutes.  Don't overcook but make sure the core temperature is at least 75 degrees C.

Put the chicken pieces in a warm oven for a few minutes to cool down.

These were excellent, well worth doing again.

The brining is supposedly important for southern fried chicken, although some recipes suggested buttermilk was essential.

For the chips (serves 4):
Oil- enough to fill the deep-fat fryer (I slightly overfilled on purpose!) Heat the oil to 135 degrees C
1.2 kg maris pipers, cut in 1cm thick chips Cook the chips in the oil for about 10 minutes.  You don't want them to pick up any colour!

Raise the temperature to 190 degrees C.

Cook the chips for 4-5 mins.
Drain on kitchen roll, sprinkle with smoked Anglesey sea salt (or any old salt) and serve. 
I only cooked 800g, which was nowhere near enough for 4 of us.  For 5 I would do 1.5kg if I can get them into the fryer, or do more in two batches.

Served with peas, or peas and sweetcorn.

Sausage Curry (aka Sausage Casserole with Indian Spices) 10/10/14

It struck me that although we use all sorts of meat in curries, I have never had a sausage curry.  So on Friday night, after getting the family prepared for something radically different, that's what we had.

I based it on my standard recipe for curry, this time using a mixture of two Patak's curry pastes, because that's what I had in my fridge.  I never use curry sauces for curries, only curry pastes.

My curry recipe for 4 portions:

About 700g sausages (Tesco's traditional pork are very good), pricked and browned in a little oil or fat (I used duck fat becuase I had some in the fridge).

Once browned, transfer to a saucepan.

Fry a chopped onion to give a little colour.

After 4 mins or so add 1/2 a jar of Patak's curry paste (I was using up a mixture of Tikka and Korma but use whichever one you like- they are all great but are quite different- just make sure it's curry paste, definitely not curry sauce!) until you can really smell the spices (about 2 mins).

Add to the saucepan along with a can of coconut cream (higher fat content the better) and a small cauliflower in florets.

Simmer gently for 10 mins

After 10 mins add a handful or two of whole green beans (I use frozen ones) and simmer for another 10 mins until the veggies are only just cooked. 

Thicken slightly if needed (I use thickening granules sparingly but ground almonds but save on carbs and add to the flavour).

Serve with rice and the usual Indian accompaniments (eg naan brea/ chapattis and a raita).  My recipe for raita is Greek yog, chopped mint and cucumber- I add some ground cardamom to this as well.

I forgot that it will need a little thickening at the end. I use a minimal amount of thickening granules but there are lots of other ways too.