Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fried Chicken and Biscuits

I had an extra container of buttermilk from baking. I didn't want to waste it. I hate wasting food. So, I did the next best thing: I made fried chicken and biscuits. This was also inspired by Danny and his post. First, the chicken. I picked chicken thighs because they're a little fattier. And I like dark meat better. I also picked the kind with the bone and skin intact. I think it makes a difference when frying. I soaked the pieces in buttermilk for about 1 hour. You can also leave this overnight. Next, I drained any excess liquid. Season some flour and coated them liberally. Shake off any excess. I heated some oil in a deep fryer to 325F. Then, I fried the thigh pieces two at a time. They take about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. I check until the crust is a nice golden brown. And yes it is! I let them cool and drain on a paper towel. The chicken was so juicy. The juices ran out onto the plate. I think this is the result of the buttermilk soaking. So good. The skin was very crispy and thin. It didn't have a thick crust like you would find in KFC. This is due to the lack of batter. But I liked the juiciness of the meat so much that I didn't care. While the chicken was frying, I made some biscuits with cake flour, buttermilk, and margarine. You cut the cold margarine into the flour until small crumbs appear. Then add the buttermilk until combined. Next roll out onto table and knead. Lastly, flatten out with rolling pin until about 1/2 thick. Cut with biscuit cutter or square off with knife. I had a feeling that when I was making this, it wasn't going to come out well. First, I didn't think the recipe called for enough margarine. But I didn't want to move away from the directions. I can always try again with my own changes. But the first time is always according to the recipe. Also, I think I added too much buttermilk. The dough wasn't forming well so I added more liquid to bring everything together. And lastly, I think I worked the dough too much. Biscuits come out best when you work them the least. With all the mixing and kneading. The fluffiness was beaten out of them. This came true when I took them out of the oven. Not only did they not rise at all, they were also hard. They didn't taste nor resemble biscuits at all. Instead, they seemed to be like crackers. Thick crackers. This is definitely a recurring theme for me and anything bread-like. I can bake all the cakes and cookies in the world. But when it comes to bread, I'm lost! I've tried my own pizza dough. Fail. Pretzels. Fail. Bagels. Fail. Bread. Fail. Now biscuits, Fail. Maybe I'm just not meant to conquer the entire baking world.

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