Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Four fried chickens and a coke

A few weeks ago, I wrote about deep frying in the South. Today we got to test some of my theories.

Yesterday was Labour Day, so we had some friends over. As my friend was cooking a dozoen potatoes in the deep fryer, he mentioned frying whole chickens. I was manning the grill while he took the fryer, but my thoughts went to a couple chooks waiting patiently in my refrigerator. So today when Ames called me at work and asked what I wanted for dinner, I said "We're going to fry those chickens!"

And we did.

Ames started out by battering the whole chooks. She used a "recipe" based on her mother's chicken batter: "A little salt, a little pepper, some flour." Ames' batter consisted of several spices, including paprika, which gave it an orange tinge:

While Ames was making sure the chickens were completely covered in their batter, I was starting the turkey fryer. I mentioned it in the other post: it's a 34-quart fryer. I took some pictures:

Yeah, that's the trash can in the background.

The oil in the fryer is still relatively new. We basically only fry potatoes, so it takes a while for the oil to darken. I only change the oil every 12 or 18 months: of course, cooking chicken in the oil will require a change in the next week or so. I think we'll try and get in a fish fry in there.

Then we dropped both chickens in the oil.

It got to be difficult to maintain the temperature between 325F and 350F. I ended up cutting the gas almost entirely, and the temperature still stayed too high.

After 20 minutes, we took out the chooks and cut one open.
It was still a little soft inside, so we put them back in for another 5 minutes:

Well, the chickens were done after the additional 5 minutes, so we took them out. And cut them up.

Add a little potato salad, and you have a winner. The potato salad had a slight orange hue, due to the paprika and red-skinned potatoes. I guess it was the day for orange tint.

The verdict? Excellent.


Ames said...

It would have been perfect with a Coke, which would have really set off the hardening of the arteries.

Gwen said...

Looks gooooood.

Shan said...

Apparently that Elvis cookbook I was talking about before has a recipe for Elvis' favourite fried chicken - wrapped in pancake batter.

Ye gods.

clumsy ox said...

That's awesome! I will certainly try frying a chicken in pancake batter.

We've made good fried chicken before (it works a lot better in the turkey fryer than on the stove-top), but I've never tried to do the whole chook in one piece before.

I was surprised how well it worked.

And it was gooooood, not so goooood we couldn't repeat it for visitors from out-of-town, of course.

Michelle said...

This is disturbing. I've always wondered, when I see them in stores, who would buy one of those turkey fryers...and now I know. And it's people I like!

clumsy ox said...

Michelle, I am sorry to have disturbed you!

The fact is, we rarely eat like this: the fryer is really only pulled out less than once a month; and in the 3 years I've had it, this is the second time I cooked meat in it. We generally use it for chips.

I actually want a second stock pot for the fryer, as the one I have is permanently stained with burned oil. I've scrubbed it a few times, even using abrasives, and have been unable to completely remove the burned-on coating.

The second stock pot figures in my plans to use more as a traditional stock pot. I have a few interesting ideas that might work with a 34-quart cooking vessel. Sadly, the cost of an additional pot has made me procrastinate on such a purchase.

But rest assured, when y'all come down for a visit, we can fry some chickens for you...

Ames said...

Come on, Ox, you can level with Michelle.

Michelle said...

At the very least, the fryer will not scare me off! And I'm sure Trevor will be delighted to sample the fried chicken (chooks? Should I start saying "chooks" if I like to say "y'all"?). All that remains is to set a date to visit. Huzzah! Preferably sometime when the snow is on the ground here. This being northern Alberta, that could be very soon. :)

Ames said...

Woohoo!! Visitors. I'll get the servants to air out the guest house.

. .Alright, so I don't have any servants. Uh, I don't have a guest house, either. But, I can get the kids to find the towels without any holes. AND, I'll even get them to dig out the Cheerios from the sleeper sofa.

clumsy ox said...

"Chook" is apparently Australian or New Zealander for "chicken". I found an interesting article about it at World Wide Words, which claims to trace it back to Shakespeare's time; so it must have come from England originally with the Australian/New Zealand settlers.

I picked it up from Crash Test Kitchen. I just like the word.

I strongly encourage everyone to bring "chook" to common North American usage.

Trev said...

Chook look tasty... Ludo hungry!

Trev said...

Ames: why would you try and take away what could be a tasty, and quite handy, elevenses?

CO: If we come down, can we try the 'chooks in a fried-on-blanket' recipe? That sounds like a story waiting to happen.

clumsy ox said...

Trev, when you come down, we'll certainly explore the panchooks. That just sounds incredible on so many levels. In fact, we'll have to explore all the nuances of the greasy grill as well.

Ames said...

How's Christmas looking for you folks? I think we could squeeze you into our very, very, very full social life. Did I mention that we are very, very, very, cool people and we are the life of the party? Aren't we, Ox? Tell them how popular we are.

Trev, I must confess that I had to look up "elevenses". I thought it was an allusion to Lord of the Rings or something. What a great word! It is now officially in my vocabulary.

clumsy ox said...

Now we can have chooks for elevenses!

I have to admit it took a trip to Wikipedia for that definition. I'm covered in vocabulary shame.

Shan said...

And you oughta be.