The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

You’re Lookin’ At Country November 28, 2010

I am shamelessly admitting right now, to you, readers, that I’m having a goddamn jamboree over here. Spending the day listening to good ole country gals like Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, and, as the title of this post might suggest, Loretta Lynn. I recently watched Coal Miner’s Daughter, and have been on an Appalachian track for the past week or so. It started with my lack of patience, waiting for my mountain (Appalachian) dulcimer to finish being made, and shipped to me. I have been tormenting myself, listening to Youtube videos of dulcimer music, and then somehow locked myself in Coal Miner’s Daughter, and relished it. Anyhow, I’ve been buying those free-range chickens from my boss (big mothers, too), and somehow, I don’t know how I did it, but I’m actually sick of roasted chicken, and ever more repulsed by looking at that goddamn speckled roasting pan sitting in my fridge for the following 1-2 days afterward. You know what that kind of frustration does to me?! It makes me want to cut things up! So we cut one of those bastard birds into 10 nice little pieces, and I coated that sucker with spices a-plenty, stuck it in a pan and cooked it until my frustration dissolved into crispy pieces of, “I WIN YOU LOSE, DEVIL BIRD!!!”
Long story short, I made oven-fried chicken. I do not often crave deep-fried foods, and my arteries thank me for that tiny tidbit of peace (a moment of absolution from bacon grease). Moreover, I despise dirtying my big, heavy cast-iron pot with oil that uses more soap than you can shake a stick at, to de-grease. The answer, is always, ALWAYS, oven-fried chicken. This is the real thing though. No imitation cornflake-coated bullshit here (I’m sorry about the profanity, kind of, but I think it stems from fatigue, and general could-care-less-ness). I am not one to buy cornflakes, because not only do they provide essentially no nutritional value, besides added sugar – which I heap on – and calcium/milk fat, but! Even worse, is that I will DESTROY an entire box in a matter of days and the result is my transformation from tiny ball of coffee-fueled awesome to not-yet-weaned calf. No dice. I’m sorry for the rambling. Let’s get to the recipe bit. This is easy, and you do not run the risk of a grease spill that will land your new face on Oprah. This is child’s play, but so damn good. YOU CAN DO IT!

Hollerin’ Country Oven-Fried Chicken
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp celery seed (optional)
chicken pieces – I didn’t use the whole bird, I used about half. Use a bit more oil if you use the whole bird, or equivalent.
1/4 cup vegetable, corn or peanut oil (I suggest using peanut if you can, best flavour)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
First of all, preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour 1/4 cup oil into a casserole dish, and put it in the oven to heat up. Then, mix up all the dry ingredients in the list from flour down to the celery seed. I like to throw it all in a freezer bag and shake it up. So, next thing you’ll need to do, is in a nice semi-shallow dish/bowl, beat up the eggs and then add milk and beat that up. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, too. So, take your chicken pieces and put them in the bag, maybe 3 or 4 at a time. Seal it up, shake until they’re coated. Shake off the excess flour (this post may have just as well been aptly titled “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” sweet sassafras). Dip the floured chicken pieces into your egg-milk mixture, until there is no, or almost no dry flour left. Add the 1/2 cup breadcrumbs to the flour mixture, shake it up to combine. Then, throw the chicken back into the flour-breadcrumb mix, and shake it up again, till thoroughly coated. Carefully pull the casserole pan with the oil out of the oven, and place your chicken pieces in. Throw it back in the oven for 30 minutes, and then turn the chicken. Put back in and cook an additional 15 minutes. Chicken! Done!

Oh, I do declare. BEAUTIFUL. If you want to enhance this whole experience, make a gravy. I simply de-glazed the pan I cooked the chicken in (glass Pyrex, I just put it on the burner, actually), with about a cup or so of water. Then, I made a slurry of about 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water, when the water/fat/chicken toasty brown bits were boiling, added that in. Added salt and pepper to taste. You could throw a little bit of chicken bouillon in too, if you want, but just a little, a few crumbles or, I like a few drops of the liquid kind. Anyhow, delicious. If you’re wondering about the vegetables in the picture, I served this with baked sweet potatoes, buttered green beans and some fried corn (sautéed with a little diced green bell pepper, a little diced onion, a pinch of cayenne pepper flakes and about 1 Tbsp butter… or bacon fat. Guess which I used?). Oh yes, another little tidbit – that flour mix is a transcendental son-of-a-gun. You can use it for fried shrimp, chicken-fried steak, anything you could coat in flour and fry. It’s wondrous stuff.
That is all! So easy. And… Rhythmic! Anyhow, time to figure din-din for tonight. I’m thinking soup beans and cornbread followed by the fig pie that I’m working on. So, ‘et up and en-joy.
megohm, over and out!


2 Responses to “You’re Lookin’ At Country”

  1. Jean Skov Says:

    Hey Meg,

    Kim told me about your website so I thought I would check it out. What a great idea. As you know I also love to cook so I was anxious to try some of your recipes. I made the pecan muffins and they were great! Look forward to trying more of your recipes.

    Say hi to Jonathon for us and hope to see you both over the holidays.


  2. Meg Says:

    I’m so glad you like it! Sorry about my, uh, slight vulgarity at times, but, food gets me excited. haha. Speaking of which, we still need to get together and do that baking thing you were talking about, with those, what were they, chocolate Christmas trees?

    Glad you liked the pecan muffin recipe, it’s actually pretty versatile if you use it as a base recipe, always good results.

    Yes, I think we will definitely see you over the holidays, and Jon says hello!


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