Sometimes I embrace the South with open arms and a willing
heart, and this is one of those times.
Of course my willing heart will probably resent the heavy dose of
cholesterol that the fried chicken will impart but the rest of me is fully
satisfied by this delicious, crunchy delight!
I like to think that this sort of indulgence is okay, every
now and then, as long as it is followed by rigorous exercise and several days
of green salads and fresh fruit. At
least that is what my brain tells my arteries and my heart every time I indulge
in this sort of foolish behavior.
What is it about recovering from a cold that makes me turn
to the most unhealthy foods? Maybe it’s
just my newly awakened taste buds that make me crave the decadent things in
Buttermilk is key here. Crispy, fried chicken can be achieved by other means but the combination of the buttermilk and the flour/cornstarch dredge makes this chicken stay crispy.
4 chicken breasts
4 Tbs cayenne powder
3 Tbs garlic powder
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
3 Tbs cornstarch
3 cups fresh green beans
¼ cup chicken stock
4 or 5 medium russet potatoes
4 Tbs butter
3 Tbs sour cream
¼ cup whole milk
2 tsp all-purpose Greek seasoning (Cavender’s)
Cut the chicken breasts by separating the tender from the
rest of the breast. Place the chicken
pieces in a mixing bowl and dust with 2 tablespoons cayenne and 1 tablespoon
garlic powder. Allow the chicken to rest
for 10 minutes. Cover the chicken with
buttermilk and refrigerate for one hour.
Wash the green beans and snip off the stems. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes and cut into roughly 1” to 2” cubes. Add the potatoes to a 4 quart pot and cover
with water. Boil the potatoes until they
are soft. Strain the cooked potatoes and
return to the pot. Add the butter, sour
cream and Greek seasoning. You can substitute
the Greek seasoning with salt and pepper but if you have never added Greek
seasoning to mashed potatoes you are missing a real treat. There is something so very right about Cavender’s
Add some splashes of milk and beat the potatoes with a fork
or spatula. Add more milk until you get
the creaminess that you desire. I
usually use about ¼ cup of milk. Cover
the potatoes and keep in a warm place.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a hot skillet and sauté the
green beans for a minute. Add the
chicken stock, turn the heat down to low and cover. Stir the beans occasionally until they are
tender. Keep warm until ready to serve.
And now, for the chicken!
Mix two cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2
tablespoons of cayenne powder and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder to a large
mixing bowl. Whisk until thoroughly
blended. Dredge the chicken pieces in
the flour mixture and let the chicken rest in the bowl for 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat a skillet and add enough cooking oil to fill the
skillet about half way. The oil needs to
be good and hot before adding the chicken…350° is just right.
Dredge the chicken in the flour again and add the chicken pieces
to the hot oil. Don’t start messing with the chicken right away. Let it cook for a few minutes before turning
over with tongs. Keep turning the chicken
until it is golden brown all around.
Boneless chicken breasts cook quickly…maybe 10 minutes total. Once you think the chicken is done, take a
large piece out and cut it. If the
chicken is white and firm in the middle (not pink), the chicken is cooked. Remove to a paper towel lined platter and
keep warm. Sprinkle some salt on the
chicken…because anything fried deserves a little salt.
Eat salads and fresh fruit for the next several days. Get plenty of exercise and get good sleep!