So, we have to inform you of some changes here at the blog. Meatless Monday’s will be suspended for the school year due to Eleta’s training to teach gifted courses. She will not be home before 10 on Mondays, so to accommodate we will be doing Wild Card Wednesdays with a theme for each month. It can be anything, and since it was my turn, I chose the theme for what remains of August to be Top Chef (meals inspired by winning dishes on the best show on Bravo). I was inspired to choose this after watching a rerun this morning from the Seattle season when Josh won and Josie lost the fried chicken competition.
So, what I’ve prepared for you tonight is a smoked fried chicken, just like Josh made for the judges. Its dark meat chicken that was buttermilk brined and briefly smoked with pecan chips and battered in a flour bbq rub mix. It is served with a bright cucumber salad with local tomatoes and greens with a light cider vinaigrette, and grilled okra in olive oil and salt.
It was quite lovely, really.
Smoked Fried Chicken:
10 pieces of bone-in chicken (legs and thighs)
1 qt buttermilk
Salt, Pepper, Paprika for brine
Flour to cover
1/4 cup each garlic, paprika, salt
1/8 cup red pepper, cayenne, cumin
If you are serving fried chicken, there has to be bones. It is a necessity for the dish. It should also be brined in buttermilk, which is simply pouring buttermilk over the pieces with spices and let it sit for as long as you can, up to a day.
When you are ready to cook, prepare your smoker to cook at around 200. Usually I would recommend apple or hickory for this job, but I was out. So, I improvised a broke a branch off our pecan tree and broke it into chips by hand. You’ll want to smoke the chicken 30 to 45 minutes to add the flavor, but not to cook the chicken too much. After smoking return the chicken to the buttermilk bath.
Shake the flour and spices in a brown paper bag and add the chicken pieces. Shake until the pieces are completely covered. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a cast iron pan. Once hot, add the pieces a few at a time and cook 9-11 minutes until golden brown. Drain on a paper town.
1 whole cucumber, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp blue cheese crumbles.
Just mix it up and sit for at least 30 minutes. Mmmm. Use a mandoline for the cucumber for uniform slices and speed. Its fun.
Okra, tops cut
Olive Oil to cover
Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Place the okra to achieve as much coloration as possible without burning. Remove when it is just soft.
This is a simple dish that is so, so good. Its no wonder it won.
And speaking of winning, we have a little experience with that.
We were happy to participate and win at Taste of the Arts last Saturday with our pork crostinis. We will be sure to post the recipes later.