Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Potato Chip Fried Chicken

Potato Chip Fried Chicken

Prep + cook: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 2-3
- 1 whole chicken (I love dissecting them myself)
- Paprika
- Garlic
- 1 large bag of potato chips, though not bulk size. I used Kettle's, which is pretty good.
- 2 beaten eggs
- Oil for cooking, enough to make a half or quarter inch deep pool in a cast iron pan
-Pinches of salt

1.) Pull out your cast iron pan and melt the grease on medium heat (mine is index five) while you prep the chicken.

2.) Take the potato chips and process the entire bag in a food processor, or else mash them manually into crumbs. Only allow yourself to eat one or two, as you'll pretty much need the entire bag for a whole chicken. Even a handful less leaves you with too little. Store crumbs in a large bowl.

3.) In a separate bowl, beat the two eggs.

4.) Take your disassembled chicken and season it liberally with the paprika and garlic to taste, but be conservative with the salt. I omitted added any more salt since the chips are already salted, but I think the grease will wash a lot away.

5.) Dip all the pieces in the beaten egg and then evenly coat with the crumbs. Do not allow for time to sit.

6.) Immediately transfer pieces to skillet and cook with the skin side down first for 10-12 minutes, but check often. Arrange pieces so that thickest ones are either in the deepest parts of the pan (if your stove is unlevel) or closest to the heat source. Flip and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes more or until meat thermometer indicates desired temperature.

7.) If you run out of room in the pan and have to do batches, then do further pieces the same way, only cook them five minutes on each side. The grease having been used once and made impure will make the cooking go a lot faster. Unlike other cooks, I cook the entire chicken, so I usually reserve the back for this. Don't waste!

8.) Let rest for a couple minutes or serve immediately.

* * * * *

To tell you the truth I'm not too fond of this recipe, but I'm not sure whether or not it's due to the recipe in itself or because I'm currently suffering from magnesium irritation, which may be making my taste buds unresponsive to things such as the minerals in sea salt. In my own trial it just tasted too potato-ie without the salt (which may have washed off, being bad since I didn't add any of my own), and I didn't season it enough. It tasted pretty bland, though was nice enough with the saltshaker at hand.

Aesthetically, on the other hand, it really works. The crust turns a beautiful gold and looks crunchy while in actuality being soft. A slightly messy eat, however, as pieces go everywhere at each bite. To give my best evaluation I'll have to try this recipe sometime again with the added salt and when I get over my magnesium irritation. -- And I'll only have to eat one or two chips, as I took too many out this time.

Strangely enough, I didn't come to love fried chicken until I went paleo. I was never too fond of the white flour alternatives; things such as coconut and almond flour, I believe, make it much better. Alton Brown's recipe is awesome and induced in me one of my peak food experiences. To make it moo-paleo accessible is easy: Just swop out the low-fat buttermilk with full-fat and the white flour with coconut flour, almond flour, crushed pork rinds, crushed potato chips, or whatever else you think of; sky's the limit. No changes in procedure are necessary, though I do recommend soaking the chicken in the buttermilk stored in a large, durable zip-top bag rather than a solid container alone for more even coverage.

This is one of my favorite basic recipes of all, so I'd like to continue tinkering with it in the future, trying things such as macadamia flour, cashew flour, Brazil nut flour, and so on. So many variations! But as of now, I don't know what to think of this particular one.

Whatever the case, at least I got to practice my knife skills in cutting up a chicken carcass. I'm getting better and faster at it, though only having a large chef knife leaves me at a loss for how to effectively remove the wish bone. Oh well, that's what further practice is for.

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