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FoodPaths - May 2012
Two Chickens for Summer Grillin’ & Chillin’

With the summer season and outdoor dining upon us, we are offering two chicken favorites for your your summer grillin’ and chillin’! 


Pitman Family Basic BBQ Sauce

Pitman Family Basic BBQ Sauce

“There is no possible way to run out of chicken recipes; it is possible for the taste of one bird to be noticeably different than another. I am committed to expanding that possibility.”— Mary Pitman

Ingredients:

Technique:

  1. Chop onion and garlic into fine mince. Sauté until clear in 2 Tbls. butter and 2 Tbls. oil.
  2. Add two cups homemade tomato sauce. Cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add ½ cup light molasses. Stir until incorporated and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Juice of two lemons or 2-4 Tbls. red wine vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Taste.  Add salt, pepper and a pinch or two of hot sauce if you like.
  6. Make sure you stir the sauce frequently so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Set aside.  Brush mixture on chicken, frequently basting and turning.  (Note:  Chicken pieces cook quickly on a hot fire.  Monitor carefully. Grill until done. Do not overcook.)

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Servings 4-6

Editor’s Note: Admittedly, fried chicken is not the healthiest food around. Especially when served up at most fast food fried chicken outlets. Nonetheless, Fried Chicken is a cultural icon and I could not resist tempting the gods of healthy hearts and cholesterol management in a “research experiment” seeking to determine what happens when a pure, organic chicken meets the cast iron skillet. Suffice it to say, I am still upright.  It will NOT be the last time I enjoy this Buttermilk Fried Chicken.  Pass the Lipitor, please.

 

“Fried chicken, so simple, so golden, so savory and pristine, yet in every way elegant…hot from the pan, at once both crisp and juicy… cold from a picnic basket, so succulent, tender and savory… always special and festive, yet ever comfortable and familiar and altogether satisfying.”
— Damon Lee Fowler
Author, Food Historian
“Classical Southern Cooking”

We offer our readers a recipe for Buttermilk Fried Chicken, from  “The World’s Best Recipes for Fried Chicken,” by Damon Lee Fowler, one of the nation’s renowned Southern food writers and food historians, and prepared by Texan Alan Coleman.  We think this recipe is worth a fry up. Please use Crisco… but please, not oil or butter.  If your health prevents you from enjoying this occasional indulgence, please do not substitute, but do grill up another bird.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-3 lb. frying chicken, cut up in serving pieces 
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt/pepper
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Optional:  few drops hot sauce
  • Crisco (oil or butter is not recommended)

Technique:

  1. Wash chicken, pat dry and place the chicken pieces in a large glass or stainless steel bowl.
  2. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken and submerge all the pieces.  Let marinate at LEAST an hour and up to overnight.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, pepper. Combine and put into a “brown lunch bag” or large zip-lock plastic bag.  Close the top and shake to distribute the seasonings.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet with enough shortening to measure half-way up the sides.  Heat to 375 degrees (hot but not smoking) or until a few splashes of water “dance” over the surface.
  5. Place a few pieces inside the bag and shake until coated with the flour and seasonings.  Lift a few out of the bag and slip them into the pan. Fry until the outside is golden and begins to brown, turning the chicken once.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium and continue frying until the chicken is just cooked through and golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove pieces with long tongs, making sure not to pierce the skin. Set aside on wire racks placed on baking sheets to cool. (The baking sheets will catch any excess grease.  Repeat with remaining pieces.)
  7. Serve hot or re-heated at 150 – 200 degrees until warm.  It is unnecessary to suggest sides. Go with whatever you please.
  8. There are rarely leftovers with this recipe, but Buttermilk Fried Chicken is also fabulous cold.