M: My partner here at the Skillet mentioned to me that when attending a 4th of July picnic, she brought both Carolina Coleslaw and Shout Hallelujah Potato Salad. Both are recipes from the The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook and both had been requested. They have become “go to” recipes for her. Comparing notes, it turns out that, for both of us, many of the dishes we’ve prepared as part of this project have been so good they have become standards for us, sometimes replacing longtime favorites. Cheerwine Barbeque Chicken was like that for me. Creamy Corn Pudding was another. And now I may have to add this fried chicken recipe to the ever-growing list of recipe usurpers in my kitchen.
I like fried chicken. A lot. I’m always pleased to be served fried chicken and I make it at home now and again. But I’ve never really had a recipe that knocked me out. Most often, my complaint has been crust that is either too soggy, not flavorful or doesn’t hold to the chicken as well as I’d like. This recipe has none of those problems and also delivers some of the juiciest chicken I’ve had the pleasure to prepare. What makes this one special?
I’ve got to credit evaporated milk, which is the component of which I was most suspicious. My concerned is that it would be too sweet. Not condensed milk sweet (condensed milk is more or less evaporated milk with a lot of sugar added), but still. I like my savory savory. To be fair, I haven’t done much cooking with evaporated milk, but I immediately think of custards or pies. I’ll leave that attitude behind now, because this really works.
The density of evaporated milk, as opposed to, say, buttermilk, holds the crust together in a spectacular way. Not only does it produce a crunchiness so often missing in my fried chicken, but it holds together beautifully, has terrific flavor without buying the flavor of the chicken itself, and seals in the juices like nobody’s business.
I thought the garnishes (pickle slices and “confetti”) were more about plate appeal, but boy do they work to taste. Don’t skip either. If the pickles are home made, so much the better. Also, parsley is underrated. It really pulls its weight here in a way I didn’t expect. Hooray, says me.
How about that? Another “go to ” dish from the SFA Cookbook. In fact, I am likely to go to this one again very, very soon.
Recipe: Fried Chicken with New Orleans Confetti
Summary: An uncommonly good crust makes this crunchy, juicy, and our new “go to” fried chicken. From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook.
- 1 (3-4 Lb Chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces
- 2 T Salt
- 2 T Black Pepper
- 2 T Louisiana-Style Seasoning Blend
- Peanut Oil for frying
- 1 Large Egg, beaten
- 1 (12oz) can Evaporated Milk
- 1 c Water
- 1 c Flour
- 10 Dill Pickle Slices
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1 Bunch Parsley, chopped
- Wash chicken, pat dry, season and let rest uncovered in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Whisk egg, evaporated milk, and water together in a large bowl.
- Put flour in a shallow bowl.
- Dredge chicken in egg mixture and roll in flour.
- Working in batches, place coated chicken in peanut oil heated to 350 degrees in a heavy pot.
- Fry chicken, turning with tongs, until juices run clear when pierced to bone and crust in golden and crispy (about 15 minutes).
- Drain cooked chicken on wire rack about 10 minutes.
- Serve hot, garnished with pickles and a confetti of garlic and parsley.