Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fried Chicken Sandwich - Video Recipe

For the best tasting Fried Chicken, it's about the crust. The bar is set high by fast food purveyors like KFC's pressure cooked chicken or Popeye's deep fried chicken. Well, I throw my whisk into the mix, with The 99 Cent Chef's Fried Chicken Sandwich recipe video.


If you don't season the flour coating enough then you get bland tasting fried chicken, like I got from the Ludo Truck by Ludo Lefebvre of The Taste cooking competition network TV show. (And click here to see my Cheap$kate Dining Review video to see what I'm talking about.)

Well, you won't get bland from this Cajun and Texan Cheap$kate Cuisiner. While I now reside on the West Coast, I still go back to the South and indulge in it's spicy eats.


This recipe uses skinless and boneless chicken meat, and you can use my recipe to fry up whole pieces of chicken. It's delicious any way you cut it.


If you follow my food blog, then you know I get my chicken cheaply from local Latin markets. All cuts of poultry are always on sale there. It may only be legs one week, then the next it's bone-in chicken breast for 99 cents per pound. I've even run across boneless and skinless chicken leg quarter meat (that's thigh plus leg as one piece) for 88 cents per pound! And for this recipe I used the on sale leg quarters.


But don't worry, I know other areas of the country don't have the kind of sales we have out here, so I show you how to debone breast and leg quarters. It's a little messy, but you save a lot of dinero. Breast meat is the simplest to do, so you can start with that if you are new to the butchery game.


My Fried Chicken flour coating packs a lot of flavor from easy to get spices I purchase from my local 99c only Store. I use a packaged Cajun/Creole spice mix, paprika, black pepper and garlic powder (or granulated). If you have a local favorite salty spice blend then use that.



And just for the heck of it I have a Homemade Buttermilk recipe for you. (I went shopping for it and it's hard to find, plus it's dang expensive.) All you do is add cheap white vinegar to regular milk. It curdles and turns sour like buttermilk. Anyway, the buttermilk is used to dampen the chicken before rolling it in seasoned flour - it adds just a little extra flavor. (You could even leave it out, as the seasoned flour is most of the flavor anyway.)

Believe it or not, but this is the first time I've made fried chicken, and it turned out delicious. I'm going it be making it again next time chicken comes on sale. This is a good, basic Fried Chicken recipe for bone-in whole pieces like leg, thigh, breast and wing.

 And be sure to keep checking back here, as I have a whole lot more poultry recipes on the block for you to try, including Chicken Caccaitore and a Roasted Chicken with Peaches & Herbs.
Fried Chicken Sandwich - Video

Play it here, video runs 4 minutes, 12 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Ingredients (2-3 sandwiches)
2 to 3 fillets of chicken - boneless. Thigh, leg or breast. For my video recipe I halved a skinless and boneless leg quarter. Okay to leave the skin on. A half breast makes 2-3 fillets.
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup buttermilk - For homemade buttermilk add a 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice, to half cup of milk. Stir and let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes.
1 tablespoon seasoned salt - use favorite seasoning like Cajun or any spicy mix. This seems like a lot, but seasonings goes into the flour. Okay to substitute with a tablespoon of regular salt. 
1 teaspoon garlic powder - or granulated garlic 
1 teaspoon paprika - optional, okay to substitute with chili powder.
1 teaspoon pepper - add more or less to taste. 
Oil for frying chicken - at least half an inch deep in a pan or pot. I used regular cheap vegetable oil.
Buns, rolls or bread - for sandwich
Toppings for sandwich - lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, ketchup, mustard, etc.
*Extra ingredient is a teaspoon of favorite dried herbs like: sage, rosemary, basil or oregano.


Directions
Remove bone from chicken pieces. Depending how large the chicken piece is, slice it to fit the size of your hamburger bun or roll. The chicken piece doesn't have to be exactly the same size. You could even use a couple pieces per bun if that's the way the chicken is sliced.


I went the easy route and bought skinless and boneless leg quarters on sale for my video recipe. The pieces are quite large, so I sliced one leg quarter in half to get 2 pieces. White meat is easy to work with, as it slices cleanly from the bone.

In my video above I went ahead and show a leg quarter and a half breast being deboned. Doing it yourself is the cheapest way.


Thigh and leg meat takes a little more work to debone. Just slice to expose the bone. To remove the meat in one piece, hold the exposed bone and cut around the bone and cartilage ends. It takes a little practice, but one you've done it a few times, it gets easier. Of course, use a sharp knife and be careful with it. And if the meat comes apart in smaller pieces, you can still fry it up and add a few pieces at a time to fit the bun or bread roll.


Use a large skillet or pot. Put enough oil to reach 1/2 inch deep. Get the oil hot over a medium heat, to about 300 degrees. I don't use a thermometer, as my gas stove setting is close enough.


Lay out one plate for flour and a wide shallow bowl for buttermilk. (For Homemade Buttermilk mix half cup of milk with 2 tablespoons of vinegar.)



Add all the spices to flour and mix well. My spice amounts are just suggestions, you can adjust any of them to suit your own taste. Too much black pepper? Okay then add half the amount. Want more spice? Then add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. If you are on a salt restricted diet, then just omit it.

And leave me a comment if you have a great seasoned flour recipe, I'm sure other visitors would be curious, too!


Take a chicken piece and dip it in the buttermilk, moisten all sides.

Return buttermilk coated chicken to seasoned flour. Coat the chicken pieces on all sides, pressing the flour into any crevices.


For a less messy method you could put the seasoned flour in a gallon ziploc bag, then add the buttermilk coated chicken, one piece at a time, and shake the bag to coat chicken.

Now time to fry it up.

When the oil is hot, carefully add coated chicken pieces. Fry each side about 3-5 minutes each until brown.


Allow chicken to fry a couple of minutes without moving it around. The coated chicken may stick to the pan, but don't move it. It will release itself.


While chicken cooks you can lay out the burger toppings with condiments.

When chicken is done let it drain for a minute or two on a rack or paper towel - I prefer a metal rack as paper towels get damp with juices and may make the crust slightly mushy. Although you can blot off excess grease from the fried chicken with a paper towel. (Letting the fried chicken set for a couple of minutes allows it to cool down just a little, so you can bite into it without burning yourself.)


If you're not sure the Fried Chicken is cooked all the way through, then make a small slice into the thickest part of the fried chicken to see that the juices run clear, not red or pink - return it for frying if chicken is not cooked through, and give it another minute or so to cook through.


Assemble the Fried Chicken Sandwich and chow down!


Hindsight
For a lighter crust, leave out the buttermilk wash step - just coat the chicken in flour only.

It's important that oil is hot when you add the chicken (be careful working with hot oil.) And remember to let fresh fried chicken cool down for a minute or two, or you will get burned.

It's can be messy frying chicken. First, flour can get all over your counter and there will be grease splatter. For my video I fried the chicken in a regular frying pan. If you have a deeper pot, then that will keep most of the hot grease splatter off your stove top. You can half-cover the pot when frying - but keep a lookout on the frying chicken to make sure it doesn't burn.

If you have a deep fryer, or use a pot with enough oil to submerge chicken pieces, then total cooking time is about 3 to 5 minutes, depending how thick the chicken pieces are. (Just slice into a cooked thick one to check for doneness.)

My Fried Chicken is well seasoned. Once you've done my recipe, fell free to adjust the seasoning amounts - more or less to your taste. Lately I've been adding dried herbs to the flour, try a teaspoon of your favorite.

White meat, while more expensive is easier to work with. I prefer dark meat for the flavor, but it does have more fat and some chewy tendons - hey, I like me some chewy bits and extra texture.

I removed the skin for this video recipe, but you can leave it on.

My chicken coating is perfect for whole bone-in pieces like breast, thigh, leg and wing. Cooking time is a little longer - closer to 5 minutes each side (or 5 minutes total if chicken is completely submerged in hot oil.)

3 comments:

Karl said...

I've been making a seasoned flour using one cup of flour, and one tablespoon each of garlic powder, white pepper, and garam masala. A little salt works too.

Having found chipotle powder and ancho chile powder, I'm experimenting with these now, too.

ENGLakey said...

Wow, you combine two of my passions, stop-motion and cooking! I hope you don't mind if I use your work as inspiration for my students. I'm a middle school video teacher and we're just starting a new term. Your work is genius! How are you able to keep the vegetables so still between shots? Awesome work. Wow.

Billy Vasquez said...

hi ENGLakey, My stuff on the web, like this, is for everyone to use, so I'd be pleased to be part of your curriculum.

For stop motion, it's a whole setup & technique. Not difficult, just shoot on a tripod and use a shutter release cable. And tape down the camera tripod legs and surface you are animating on (like a plate or cutting board.) It's about keeping things from being bumped and shifted, so it all animates smoothly.

I also sometimes tuck a small ball(s) of masking tape (wadded up with sticky side out)under veggies and fruit to keep it from rolling around.

I have more details in my blog post "Anatomy of a Title Sequence": http://the99centchef.blogspot.com/2014/04/edible-type-video-anatomy-of-title.html

hi to your class from the CheapSkate Chef & shoot me an email for follow up questions ;-p

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