Monday, January 25, 2010

Cajun Dry-Rubbed Buttermilk Fried Chicken

(Copyright © 2009 Someday Gourmet)

Prep Time: 50 minutes + 8 hrs marinade
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Level II
Yield: 7-10 pieces

  • 2-3 lbs of any variety of bone in chicken (I prefer split chicken breasts and drumsticks
  • 3 cups Buttermilk (low fat variety ok)
  • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3-4 cups of oil
  • 2 tbsp Coarse Salt
  • 2 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp Hot/Buffalo Sauce (optional)
  • Cast Iron Pan (recommended)
Someday Gourmet's Sweet & Spicy Dry Rub

Equal parts of the following:
Recommend 1 tbsp of each per lb of chicken
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • White Sugar

24 hours before you plan to make the chicken, clean each piece and loosen the skin being careful not to pull it off completely.  Pat dry and rub in salt and pepper under the skin.  Place chicken in a dish or bowl to marinate and cover completely with buttermilk.  Refridgerate chicken in the marinade at least 8 hours.

Add enough oil to your frying pan to fill 3/4 inch.  Preheat oil over medium (6) heat for at least 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In the meantime, mix the flour, breadcrumbs, and dry rub together thoroughly in a deep bowl.  Once the oil is ready, begin an assembly line:  drain the buttermilk from a piece of chicken, coat it in the breadcrumbs, add it to the oil.  Repeat.  Cook chicken in batches for 5 minutes on each side - it is not unusual for the chicken to become darker brown than expected.  Blackened, not so much.  That said...hang in there for the full 5 mins, it's worth it to have a nice crispy skin. 

As the chicken finishes cooking on both sides, transfer it to a large baking pan with a greased metal rack or alternatively onto a greased broiling pan (my favorite tool in my kitchen).  Once each piece is fried and transfered onto the baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve immediately with a knife, fork, and bottle of hot sauce.

Chef's Notes
  • Do not cook more than 2 split breasts or 4 drumsticks at a time. Overcrowding may cause the temperature of the oil to drop too low causing the chicken to cook unevenly
  • Don't forget to roll the chicken on its side for a while to crisp all sides of the piece.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Someday Gourmet is now on Facebook

Check out the new Someday Gourmet page on Facebook.  Don't forget to become a fan!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This Week's Menu: 01-16-10

One of my 2010 "resolutions" is to add a little variety to the blog posts and I figure jotting down the next week's menu is a good place to start.  While I often just rely on what's on special in the meat department to build my menu on the spot, this week I have a few things on hand that are ready to be used.

Here is what's on the menu:  (in no particular order)
  • BBQ Pork loin with sweet corn relish and coleslaw
  • Cheese steaks with sauted mushrooms and provolone
  • Cajun Fried Chicken & Turkey Kielbasa Jambalaya
  • Orrechiette pasta with a Parma Rosa Bolognese
  • And don't forget a night for leftovers!

Be on the lookout for at least one recipe from the bunch!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Roasted Veggie and Margarita Marinated Chicken Fajitas w Pico de Gallo

(Copyright © 2009 Someday Gourmet)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Level I
Yield: 2-3 Servings


  • 1 Squash – cut into 1/4in wide strips
  • 1 Zucchini – cut into 1/4in wide strips
  • 1 lb Chicken breast – cut into fajita-style strips
  • 1 1/2 Cup Margarita mixer
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp course salt
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Cup Grated Mexican Cheeses (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Flour tortillas
Simple Pico De Gallo
  • 1 Small Onion - finely chopped
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes or similar – diced
  • 1/3 Can Rotel Tomatoes w/ chilies
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Cilantro (fresh is better!)
 Mix and refrigerate at least 1 hour - Yields 2 cups

Fajita Instructions

Place cleaned and cut chicken strips in a plastic bag or bowl and cover with margarita mixer. Marinate for 1-3 hours.

Preheat oven to Broil Lo or 450 F. Add squash and zucchini to a bowl and gently coat with oil and chili powder. Transfer to a foil lined baking sheet and roast 8” from top of oven for 10 minutes or until tips of veggies start to blacken. Remove from oven and cover in a serving dish.

In the meantime, remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels (important!). Sprinkle chicken with salt and add to a large frying pan. Brown over medium heat 5-8 minutes until fully cooked and juice runs clear. Remove from pan and cover in a serving dish.

Heat tortillas according to package (I threw them in the cooling oven for 2 minutes on same tray used for veggies) and serve with veggies, chicken, pico de gallo, cheese and sour cream.

Chef’s Notes

  • As you are frying the chicken it’s essential that you actively drain off any liquids during cooking so that chicken browns, not boils in liquid. You can do this by trapping the chicken in the pan with a lid and pouring the liquids into the sink directly from the pan but be careful with the hovering hot pans!
  • If you like things spicy, consider tossing some chili powder or cayenne seasoning into the frying chicken just before you finish browning. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pork Scallopini with Mushrooms in a Sherry and Marsala Wine Reduction

Copyright © 2010
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Level II
Yield: 4-6 Pieces of Pork

  • 4-6 Thin cut pork chops (thinner the better)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1/2 Cup Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 2-3 Cups Canola or Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Milk (any variety is fine)
  • 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 2 Cups Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Tbsp minced Garlic
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Seasoned Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Sets of tongs (recommended)

Prepare vegetables if necessary.  Preheat the oven to its lowest setting for warming.

The Pork
Cut the pork into 3-4" squares or strips.  Place between layers of plastic wrap and pound each piece of pork until 1/4" thick.  If you think you're done pounding...make it just a little thinner!

Add 2-3 Cup of oil to a small-medium pan for frying and heat oil on medium-high (6 on my dial).  Let oil heat for at least 7-10 minutes before beginning to fry.

Next create 2 dipping stations: flour in one and an egg wash in the other (1 egg, 1/8 cup milk - whisk thoroughly). Using one set of tongs, dip the pork in egg wash, let the excess drip off and then lightly coat with flour.  Using the same tongs drop the pork into the heated oil.  Repeat process to queue up the next piece of pork in the flour dish.

Cook the pork for 3 minutes and using the 2nd set of tongs flip in the oil and cook for 1-2 additional minutes until golden brown.  Using the second set of tongs transfer the cooked pork onto an ovenproof plate or dish and cover with foil.

Repeat until each piece is cooked.  Place pork in the oven to keep warm once all pieces are done if more time is needed to make sauce.

Note: If using a larger dish (with more oil), it's ok to cook several pieces at once.  I prefer to use a smaller pan with less oil and fry each piece individually.

The Mushroom Sauce
Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a medium pan over MEDIUM-HIGH heat and add the mushroom.  Saute for 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Add seasoned salt and continue to saute until browned and soft.  Remove mushrooms from pan and add garlic and onions (do not clean pan).  Continue to saute on medium-high until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add both cooking wines and turn heat up to HIGH.  Simmer the liquid on high stirring frequently until sauce reduces to 1/3 of the original (about 5 minutes).  Lower heat to MEDIUM and stir in mushrooms, 2 tbsp butter, red pepper flakes and remaining 1/8 cup of milk.  Heat for another 2-3 minutes until sauce thickens slightly and mushrooms are piping hot.

Pour over pork and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Chef's Notes
  • Be sure to use an oil with a high heat smoke point for the deep frying.  This will help prevent your home from smelling like burnt pork for the next few days.
  • It is normal for the frying oil to begin to get cloudy after a few pieces of pork are cooked.  You might even smell a bit of burning.  That's ok!  The flavor from each piece of meat will compound making the last one the best one.
  • Just make sure you have enough oil in there initially to cover the meat thoroughly and try not to add any additional once you've begun. Using the same oil for the entire job helps ensure an even temperature and will help produce consistent results.
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