February 17, 2007

Fry Me A Chicken, Part II

Never give up! Never surrender! Especially when you have willing volunteers lined up to be your lab rats. :)

I had another bout with frying up chicken tonight. Same recipe from before but this time I tried 3 new strategies.
  1. Only drumsticks and thighs, going in at a combination of 2 legs and a thigh or 2 thighs and a leg. Smaller pieces may be the key!
  2. Cast iron skillet. After all, my first few attempts were done in the great ironside.
  3. Frying partially "blind".
First, I filled the cast iron skillet just about half way with peanut oil and set the thermometer in. It hit 355-360 F per instruction. And frying commenced.

The first batch went in for 6 minutes on each side. The result was the same as using the big pot at the same temperature: dark crust, uncooked meat close to the bone. The herbs also burned in the progress. Last time at least I could still eat the garlic!

After filleting the chicken pieces open and sticking them in the microwave, I turned the heat down a tad. Now the temperature hovers around 325-350F and the second batch at 7 minutes each side came up not as dark, but the meat was still undercooked. That one when in for 2 minutes in the microwave. The first batch only went in for a minute.

At this point, the thermometer came off. Screw it with accuracy! Let's go with the gut!

I turned the heat down a little further and the third batch had beautiful golden color. Still not completely cooked through, but getting better. And the final batch turned out almost perfect except for a bit of pink in the thighs. I nuked the last batches for a minute each.

I kept the entire finished product in 140F oven to keep warm. We waited for about 15 minutes before Shane and Serena, a.k.a. lab rats, showed up for dinner.

I asked that all of us eat with forks and knives. Pretty much, "if you see anything pink, I'll stick it back in the microwave" kind of dining.

Surprisingly, every single piece was perfectly done. I think it's partly the microwave and partly sitting in the warm oven that allowed them to cook a little more.

The microwaved aftermath did produced a LOT of juices as the pieces got cooked. I was afraid those pieces would now be bone dry. But yet, the final product was STILL incredibly juicy.

I'm getting close to perfection, you guys! Part III should be good. :)

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