Saturday, 30 June 2012

Day 51: Spicy fried chicken

Better than KFC” were the words that emerged from Dear Husband’s rather stuffed mouth as he gobbled at the Spicy fried chicken which I made for tea this evening.

I decided to make paprika wedges (again!) to accompany the chicken so I got working on them once I had the oil on to heat for the chicken. It just so happened this week that I noticed in M&S that they have started doing smoked paprika so if you’re looking for it, that’s where you’ll get it. Up until now, any time I made the wedges, I just used ordinary paprika. Once the wedges were in the oven, I moved onto the chicken. I had to toast cumin seeds for a minute in a frying pan and then grind them using a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, I put self-raising flour, smoked paprika, salt and caster sugar along with the cumin powder. I used chicken thighs so I dipped them in milk, then into the flour mixture and repeated. I fried them two at a time for 10 minutes each.

The recipe said to fry them until they were a ‘rich golden brown colour’ and, if you are in any doubt as to the difference between a rich golden brown colour and chicken that is blatantly incinerated, then see the photos below. I do have a deep fat fryer but I think I’ve used it twice in the past three years for homemade chips so it’s stored away. I just couldn’t be bothered to go hoking about for it and then having to clean it again. Therefore, I did the frying in a saucepan on the hob and had the fire extinguisher near to end – just in case. The recipe said that when heating the oil, I’d know if the oil was hot enough if a cube of bread came back up the surface quick enough. In actual fact what happened was that the cube of bread didn’t even go below the surface so I should have known then that the oil was too hot. The rapid ring on my kitchen hob is obviously seriously powerful – to the point where it is probably faulty. I really don’t think it’s supposed to get as hot as it does. I ended up heating another saucepan of oil seeing as I burnt the first one.
The burnt chicken

The not-so-burnt chicken

Well, as you probably guessed from the opening sentence, the fried chicken went down well. Dear Husband gave it 10 marks out of 10. Dear Son didn’t want any as he had his dinner in the early part of the evening. However, Baby Daughter (who has a hearty appetite) had some and really enjoyed it although she didn’t eat a lot but, then again, she’s one 14 months. Dear Husband said he would ‘definitely’ eat the chicken again so that’s as good an indication as any that the recipe was good. However, I’ll know next time to monitor the oil temperature a lot more closely. Either way, the dogs were quite happy that I burnt the first batch this evening and I’m quite sure they’d be happy if I did so again the next time I’m making fried chicken. It really is a dog’s life you know…

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