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REAL SOUTHERN fried chicken recipes from

First you got to start with a whole fryer bird, bone in and skin on, if you don't do both then don't call it southern. If your cookpot is deep enough, leave the wing attached to the split breast and the leg attached to the thigh, better yet in a turkey rig you can do the whole bird! But for skillet preparation you will have to cut up the bird to parts. Rinse and pat dry the bird with paper towel. Your spice mix can vary, but your oil temp needs to be followed closely. My "traditional" spice mix is 2 Tbs salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp garlic powder and a pinch of oregano and onion powder. To add more zing add an additional 1/2 tsp white pepper and 1 tsp of cayenne with another Tbs salt and double the garlic powder. Now that you have your mix in a bowl, take half of it and mix it in with 2 cups of flour and take the other half and spread it over the bird. I'll even go under the skin on the breast with it (especially necessary to go under the skin for frying a bird whole). Now how "deep" do you want to go in the south? For pre 1950's on the farm fried chicken you'll need to use lard; for more modern south in your mouth you'll need to go with Crisco shortening...if you are doing the "Louisianna whole bird" in the turkey rig use peanut oil. I will occasionally use peanut oil in my cast iron dutch oven for deep frying pieces, but the authentic taste needs at the least shortening. For skillet preparation fill your seasoned cast iron with (what? you don't have a seasoned cast iron skillet? you need to hip up) oil a bit over 1/4 inch and bring it to a more rapid "roll" but not smoking. That will be a medium high heat around 360 degrees but you got to just know where the smoking starts by feel and smell. Have the chicken at the ready by putting the flour spice mixture in a paper bag and judging what your skillet will hold with the pieces barely apart (they can touch a bit but it is better to leave a tiny gap between pieces) As the oil reaches the desired high heat drop the first batch in the paper bag, shake it good like you mean it, then gently place in the pan ( the oil will kick up if you drop it and be a real fire hazard not to mention the burns). Let the pieces fry at high heat for a couple of minutes then flip over and get the top side. The crust should be a medium honey hue, if you get it to dark brown you are treading too close to the smoke point, but some people prefer the earthy flavored dark brown. Also if you use the spicier mix the increased cayenne will darken the crust and that would be the desired hue. Anyway, now comes the important part, cut the heat down immediately after you brown both sides, flip the bird back to the start side and cover the pan. Simmer the bird in the oil for about 20 minutes at low medium heat (you should still hear the pan "crackling" but just barely after 10 minutes on the lowdown). Test the breast with a twist of the fork for doneness, but if you do that more than once and to more than one piece then you lose your "southerness" right away! Set out on a plate with paper towel or newspaper to get the grease. Your next batch will not get to be heated up as high as the first due to the flour remnants, just be conscious of the smoke point. For extra crispy chicken you can certainly dip the seasoned pieces into an egg wash once or twice, but that ain't how it was done way back. One good friends family recipe even soaks the pieces in butter milk prior to the flour dusting. Good Luck!!

Apr 21, 2007
Junasrib in Home Cooking

Ultimate Kitchen suggestions

dishtowel washer drawer...! you may be on to something!

Apr 21, 2007
Junasrib in Cookware

Ultimate Kitchen suggestions

you are correct that there could/would be licensing issues with a "home" based catering business, but that is not my situation. i just need the scalability for my personal events.

Apr 21, 2007
Junasrib in Cookware

Ultimate Kitchen suggestions

Chip, you are on top of it! Got my CFM's where I need them, and I ALWAYS keep an extinguisher in the kitchen!

Apr 20, 2007
Junasrib in Cookware

Ultimate Kitchen suggestions

Counter height is critical in a high volume kitchen and a lower table top does make it easier to work some dough. I am 6'4" so I was always okay with 34" prep tables while persons of average height would wilt away. I think the same thing goes for the cooktop...saute pans can fly at 33-34" versus traditional 36" and especially the latest craze of putting them at 37 or more... it is just wrong. On the other hand, for chopping and other prep I use 39.5" counter height with a vegetable sink...a bit high for some of my vertically challenged friends, but good for me and a great gathering spot for friends wanting to perch up on a stool and lend a hand. I don't know if you make your own stocks, but the lower cooktop height helps TREMENDOUSLY for working with large pots. Hope I was some help. Oh! so with the need to Knead question... I think you should really measure how often you will be Kneading it versus the other uses that space can serve. One option is to use the lower cabinet for a mixer garage that swings out and up, proud of the cabinet, and let the 30-32" wide base cabinet (then stores the mixer and bowls or sheet pans) have a stepped down top, not a lot of space to work some dough, but nice enough, and a good size for laying out phyllo... just a thought!

Apr 20, 2007
Junasrib in Cookware

Ultimate Kitchen suggestions

thanks for the feedback. i am going with two sets of fisher paykel drawers, gives me convenient/efficient high loading and unloading on a daily basis as well as capacity for entertaining. i was originally going with a range to get more "confined" capacity, but because i believe the cook needs to face out into the room, i necessarily have the cooktop in an island. the cooktop lets me get open shelving underneath for pan/pot storage... and a bit more professional kitchen feel. that means i got to get all my baking done on the wall...i am reluctant to commit to just one 36" wall oven as has become "fashionable", it simply cannot give me the scalability i need, but will the addition of the 24" combi get me where i need to be? a double 31" with the combi and microwave set all together seems a bit overwhelming, but i cannot seem to figure any other way to have a true entertainment kitchen. then there is the 30" vs. 36" dilemma. i love my range's 36" when i need to keep things warm for big dinners, it allows me to do much more prep beforehand so i can enjoy company as well as concentrate on the saute or grill. ....maybe i am answering my own questions! it certainly helps to brainstorm.

Apr 20, 2007
Junasrib in Cookware

Looking for the best steak in Nashville

Fleming's and Morton's excel at service followed closely by the Palm, but none are original to Nashville...not that Nashville is known for steak houses and seafood. Never the less, for authentic Nashville blueblood feel, it is hard to argue with Jimmy Kelly's or Sperry's. Both made their names for service back in the day and feature steak and seafood selections. More recently, Sunset Grille has been the most consistent with casual fine dining and they offer an extensive wine list, although their steak selections are limited compared to "steak houses". While you are here, you should run out to Loveless Cafe for country ham and biscuits with scrambled eggs and get acquainted to a real taste of the area. You might also try Arnold's Country Kitchen on 8th Ave. for lunch, the Roast Beef and Chocalate Pie are extraordinary, and you may be seated next to the Mayor, Governor or a Star or two! (By the way, don't flirt too much with Arnold's pretty wife, he not only carries the carving knife, but also a "hog-leg" ,...southern for a very large pistol!). Hope you enjoy your trip!

Apr 19, 2007
Junasrib in General South Archive

Ultimate Kitchen suggestions

i guess i am pretty fortunate because i am getting to build my kitchen exactly how i want to... but i need help. i am a veteran of a few fine dining (and some not so fine!) restaurants and former pastry chef, so performance and durability are critical. any cooktop with less than a 17,500 btu burner is unacceptable, yet reliable low simmer is needed too (i currently use my griddle to simmer, but i am going to say goodbye to my commercial range before i move to the new house). without being uppity i would like to say money is not the issue. i do entertain quite a bit, so scalability is important... 48" is probably what i need in the cooktop with a grill and griddle (or perhaps a double griddle, any thoughts?) what brand and models do i turn to, i've been using commercial ranges so long, i feel i am at the salesmen's mercy when it comes to residential appliances! same thing with ovens..., i am not a fan of warming drawers, i'd rather another oven. holidays and parties have all 3 of my ovens going (36" in my range plus dual convections on the wall). at the new house i'll have a catering kitchen downstairs at the dumbwaiter for extra capacity for events, but it is not like i would like to run up and down for a gathering of 12 to 20... so i really need two ovens if not three in the main... what about the gaggenau 36" and the 24" steam combi... not to mention the microwave which is entirely politically incorrect for me to display but yet needed on a daily basis to cook my morning oatmeal and pop the kids some corn!

seriously, i know i got the kind of problem to enjoy, but i am quite anxious to do this properly, how would you equip your ultimate kitchen???, and the wow factor is important too, but i think that follows naturally from the informed cooking decisions. oh, the new subzero fridge with the glass door is something i've waited for for years, other than loud commercial alternatives (one of which will be going in the catering kitchen), are there any competitors with that capacity, clear door, and freezer?

Apr 19, 2007
Junasrib in Cookware