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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Fried Chicken

The text message to my family got immediate responses. “Fried chicken.” I was sitting in the steamy Castle High School Natatorium Sunday morning for a swim meet. While I enjoy watching the competition of all the events, there always is plenty of time to read, visit, and study the heat sheet. I stuffed the Saturday/Sunday Wall Street Journal in my bag and had just begun to read the Off Duty section. A How To story caught my eye: Make Fried Chicken. Before I even finished reading the story, I texted my family:

Do you want chili or fried chicken for the Super Bowl?

Did I really just send that text? Before I could even process what I had done, the replies came. My family likes chili a lot – but not as much as:
“Fried chicken”
“Fried chicken”
“Fried chicken”

My Super Bowl Sunday would be spent in the kitchen, frying chicken the old school method, as outlined in the WSJ story, just like my Granny made — or at least that’s what I hoped.

The Wall Street Journal story noted the “All-American” food was enjoyed in Europe and Asia long before Columbus sailed here. Fried chicken took hold quickly in America, and a recipe appeared in the 1928, “The Virginia Housewife” with instructions to dredge fresh chicken pieces in flour, season with salt and pan-fry in hot fat until golden.

That’s what I did. Soak the chicken in milk with a dash of hot sauce; let it sit on a wire rack for a few minutes. In a paper bag (or a zip lock) shake chicken pieces with a mix of flour, a small amount cornstarch, sea salt, and pepper. Let chicken sit again on wire rack. Fry chicken pieces — don’t crowd — in a heavy skillet with ¾-inch oil. Drain on paper towels; repeat; enjoy!

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