Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cooking for the Superbowl

I'm going to take a bit of a break from the European adventures for many reasons: no one wants to read about Europe all day long, I'm done with Italy, and I'd like to share something else with the general public!

As we all know (unless you live under a rock, even then you don't have much of an excuse) today is/was SuperBowl Sunday. For most people (me) it's an excuse to get together with friends and eat and drink, since it's not very often that a team you actually want to win gets into the SuperBowl.

Now normally I would just bring fried chicken from KFC, pizza from Pizza Hut, or chicken wings from Hooters to the gathering. Unlucky for the rest of the people who share food with me, it's much too close to New Years for me to so actively break my resolution of eating healthier (not healthy.. but healthier.. baby steps..). I decided to make my own chicken!

At first I wanted to do my old standby of Chinese style baked chicken wings (chinese BBQ sauce + roasted chicken powder + sugar + water covering and marinating the chicken) but since I live nowhere near a Chinese supermarket I couldn't get the necessary ingredients. So I decided to make Oven Baked Fried Chicken with Parmesan cheese.

I know it is still not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's a workable substitute for actual fried chicken, with less calories, and oil!

The main ingredients you need are
  • Flour
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • low fat butter milk
  • chicken (duh)
  • Shredded Parmesian cheese
  • parsley.
What you first do is put all of your chicken into an air tight container, whether it be a bag or an actual container. You cover the chicken with the buttermilk and allow it to sit in your refrigerator over night. I actually considered putting in chopped onions, peppers and other herbs into the buttermilk as kind of a marinade but it just never happened (I bought all the ingredients too, *shrug*).

Why buttermilk overnight? Here's your answer, copied from the internet.

Soaking the chicken in Buttermilk tenderizes the meat of the chicken through the usage of protein enzymes activated that occur naturally in the buttermilk, which breakdown (tenderize)the cellular walls of the chicken meat itself. Similar to a common meat tenderizer you would use to tenderize a pot roast.The buttermilks natural flavor also imparts a unique taste to the chicken.These are two reasons why people have been soaking chicken in buttermilk for many, many years in the Southern Regions of America.

After you've soaked it overnight prepare your mixture for 8 pieces of chicken.
  • One cup of flour
  • 2 table spoons of Paprika
  • 2 table spoons of Salt (I like to use Kosher Salt)
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of Cayenne pepper.
This results in a lightly flavored chicken. If you prefer your chicken with a little bit more fire, feel free to up the dosage in the Cayenne Pepper. Since this was my first time doing it I wasn't as liberal with the seasoning.

So put this mixture into its own plastic bag. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk soak and allow all the excess buttermilk to come off.
After giving it ample time to get "dry" you can throw the pieces into the seasoned floor and shake it all around.


(before)

(after) After you're done, make sure that you shake excess floor off so nothing starts to clump. When it starts to clump the flour tends to cook unevenly. You'll get chunks of flour all over the place on your chicken and that just tastes chalky and nasty. Then after getting rid of the excess flour, allow it to go back into a quick soak of buttermilk love.



Now my twist to this is that instead of immediately putting it back into the flour, I laid all of the pieces down and spread Parsley and Parmesan Cheese over the chicken to get it an inside coating. It gives it a little layer of cheesy-kick inbetween the flour. After giving it a few minutes to set, I then dredged the chicken through the floor again. Why dredge it through the floor again? This allows for a thick/crispy skin to form over the chicken!

Allow the chicken to sit on the side for about 15-30 minutes to allow the coating to stick tightly onto the chicken. While waiting, pre-heat your oven to about 350-375F.

The next step could be done after or before you put the chicken in the oven. Heat about 3/4th of an inch of oil in a pan at medium heat and dip the chicken into the oil for a few minutes on each side to allow for a golden crisp. If you're taking the chicken to a party or something of that nature, I would suggest doing it after so it stays as crispy as possible.

Put the chicken into the oven for about 15 minutes on each side. After it's done cooking, take it out and allow it to sit for a few moments.


And Walla! moist chicken on the inside, crispy thick crust on the outside! After you throw it into a quick oil fry the skin gets to an even golder color!

Hope you enjoyed this installment of Chef Fu. =)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is great! I've never made chicken quite like that, I'll definitely have to try it.

Thanks for the cooking lesson, your finished chicken is preeeeetty. :)

Charlie Fu said...

Thanks! i only took pictures of ones that were pretty =P. I tend to forget that parts of my oven are 50+degrees hotter than other parts.

Frank said...

Anonymous:

Having tasted some of this chicken at the Super Bowl party. I suggest that you fry them instead of putting them in the oven. It's not as healthy, but it will taste better.

Charlie Fu said...

Frank: i was trying to be healthy damnit! Frying is always perfection