SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN AND POTATO SALAD (via North Carolina)
Ingredients: Chicken, Salt, Flour, Cooking Oil
- Start with fresh food. On the day I purchased the chicken (Aug. 1) there were packages stamped with these "sell by" dates: Aug. 1, Aug. 6 and Aug.12. I'm amazed that NY would allow stores to sell chicken that's been sitting on the shelf for almost two weeks. Ugh.
- The chicken should be not be too cold, so remove it from the refrigerator an hour or two before cleaning/cooking. Rinse, pat dry with paper towels, remove any remaining pin feathers and singe (if you can). Lightly salt the chicken pieces. Place some flour (maybe 1/2 cup) in a bag. Place 1 or 2 pieces of chicken in the bag, close and shake the bag. Open bag and shake each piece of chicken vigorously to remove excess flour (it should be lightly dusted with flour, not caked on). Patiently pile the poultry pieces on a porcelain platter.
- Heat the cooking oil in a high-sided large (about 12" diam.) pan. Use lots of oil. The level should come almost halfway up the side of the chicken. Depending on the size of the chicken pieces, this might be 16 or 20 oz. or so. Insufficient oil will not only make it more difficult to uniformly brown the chicken, but will make it much harder to keep from scorching the oil (and chicken). That said, the chicken should not be placed into the pan until the oil is very hot. For adding, turning and removing the chicken, long handled tongs are recommended. Don't add so much chicken to the pan that the pieces are wedged against each other.
- Keep the flame or burner temp. very high. The evaporating moisture in the chicken will help keep the oil's temperature down.
- When the bottom of the chicken is just about brown enough, place the lid on the pan and cook for another minute. (This is the only time the lid will be used, if at all.) Remove the lid, turn the pieces and continue cooking until done. (Don't keep turning the chicken. The pieces should be turned only once.) Remove and allow to drain and cool for at least 15 minutes. The chicken will be not be really crispy if the pieces are packed to close together. Ideally, you'd clip them to a clothesline and let them dry in the sun like laundry. :) I put them in frame baskets lined with paper towels on the bottom only, only one layer deep, with lots of space between pieces. Lightly salt again if desired.
6 red (a.k.a. new or waxy) potatoes
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more)
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
several gherkins (sweet pickles) finely diced.
The potatoes (not tiny ones - these were a bit smaller than a baseball) should be peeled, diced and placed in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and after 5 minutes test with a fork (or taste one). When still be firm but no longer hard/crunchy, drain and add the remaining ingredients and most of the mayonnaise. Stir. If the consistency isn't right, add more mayonnaise and go back to "Stir". Repeat until satisfied. Allow to cool to at least room temperature before eating.
Updated: August 8, 1997
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