Today, my widower father came down with his new girlfriend to visit il Padrone and I. We decided to take them to Coney Island, because his new inamorata has never had the pleasure of a Nathan’s hot dog from Coney Island. After dining, we decided to take a walk around. Not being a big roller coaster fan, I opted for the next best thing a person trying to prove that she was not a weenie would opt for, the Wonder Wheel. Clearly my memory is fading, because I forgot that the rocking carts, really rock, no, actually drop! Perspective is everything, this is mine, and I am sticking with it! Anyway, as I was approaching the top of the wheel and we were getting ready for our next drop, I felt as though I was taking my last breath, the reels of my life started to flash and all I could think of was, OMG, I never let anyone know what the actual recipe for the fried chicken was, the one which I considered such a coup on my part. So, here it is.
All the recipes I found use a 3lb fryer chicken cut up. I used a package of about 4 chicken breasts and cut them in half, chicken wings, and chicken thighs, approximately 6 of each.
1 Quart of Butter Milk
1 cup of Ranch Dressing
2 Tablespoons of hot sauce
Mix these ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and pour it into a ziplock bag and leave overnight to marinate.
2 Cups of flour
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons of Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1 ½ Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon of white pepper
1 Package of Seven Seas Italian Dressing Packet
2 Tablespoons of Paprika
Mix all of the above ingredients in a gallon zip lock bag and mix thoroughly. Take the pieces of chicken out of the marination bag, and let all excess marinade drip off. Put about four pieces of chicken in the bag with the flour at a time to make sure they are fully coated. Place the chicken on a rack for a couple of minutes to let the flour set. Repeat this process until all of the pieces are coated.
A cast iron skillet is my weapon of choice, but if you do not have one, pick a 10 or 11 inch skillet or whatever comparable is in your arsenal. Fill with Corn oil, ( Feel free to use or supplement with Canola, or peanut oil instead) and fill the skillet ¾ of the way to the top. Heat the oil to approximately 300 degrees. (If you do not have a thermometer, heat the oil until it’s so hot that when you flick in a drop of water it beads up immediately.)
Place the chicken in the skillet when it has reached the desired heat. I recommend Teflon coated tongs for lifting and be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Make sure to use similar sized pieces so the cooking time is approximately the same. When you place the chicken in the skillet, leave it for 3 minutes untouched. Dark meat will cook for an additional 13-15 minutes, white meat an additional 10-12, time varying according to the thickness of the meat. Place the cooked pieces on a wire rack, with paper towels underneath to drip dry. Then place in an aluminum chafing dish to serve.
** It is better to leave the chicken at room temperature, or refrigerate. If you put it in the oven warmer it loses some of it’s crunch.
For the sake of fairness, the fried chicken wasn’t the first OMG moment on the Wonder Wheel, that is always reserved for “Will our children ever know how much I love them?” That is always answered by il Padrone with, “Yes, but not until we’re dead!” So I went with the fried chicken recipe, because I’m still here.