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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mama D's Fried Chicken

Today I have a guest recipe.  Mama D was in town from Montgomery, Alabama visiting her daughter, Gena Kay and I was invited to have dinner with a group for her famous fried chicken.  Just so you know, you're lucky to get an invite for Mama D's fried chicken cause she doesn't make it often. And fellow foodies, it's made with love and it's delicous!  




Side note... the ingredients will be here but the amounts will be a bit of a guesstimate because she's been making this dish for 56 years and generally doesn't measure anything!  But I'm thinking I've done a good job of breaking it down. 

So here goes...and we begin with the chicken (yes it's raw chicken and it's not pretty, people...yet).


Mama D cuts up her chicken her way and washes it clean and removes any excess fat.  If the chicken is super fresh (i.e no preservatives, etc.), salt and pepper and cover tightly and store in refrigerator over night.  If the chicken is a basic fryer (preservatives), then soak it in cold water overnight with salt and then pepper the next day when it's room temp.  

And don't forget..bone in and skin on folks! This is southern fried chicken!


Add about 2-3 cups of self-rising flour to a bag, paper or plastic.  Salt and pepper the flour.  Add a couple of pieces of chicken to bag, close and shake, shake, shake!  Remove each floured piece and place in bubbling hot peanut oil in a large deep fry pan.  The oil should be about 3" deep the in pan.


Place a lid on the pan and cook until first side is brown.  Turn chicken only one time.  This is very important. Do not keep turning the chicken. Place lid back on skillet and cook the final side.  Approximately 10 minutes for each side.  

She cooks more than one chicken so she cooks all the sames pieces at the same time, legs first.  Look how hot that oil is and be very careful not to burn yourself!  Leave room between chicken in the pan, 
do not over crowded.  Cook the chicken in batches.


Mama D uses very special attention to the flouring of the chicken.  Be sure to shake off the loose flour.


Doesn't look good and crispy?  Can not wait to bit into a piece.  After the chicken is done, place on paper towels and cover with foil to keep warm until you have cooked all the pieces of chicken.


It's gravy time! Drain most of the oil out of the pan leaving the brown bit and about 2- 3 tablespoons of the fat.  Now add about 2 tablespoons of flour, whisking around to let to roux cook the flour taste out, several minutes.  


Be sure that you do not have lumps and clumps, see the consistency in the photo?


Now begin to add the chicken broth to the flour mixture slowly, stirring and cooking over medium low heat to form the gravy.  (She cooks the extra pieces of chicken, like the back and others that your not cooking in water ahead of time to make the broth.  Or just use store bought chicken broth).  She said usually around 1-2 cups broth to the flour mixture.  Adjust seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.


This is the thickness of the gravy!  Yummy!


Mama D's Fried Chicken, just for you!  
If you can follow the photos you can make your own chicken. 
Happy Eating!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fresh and Easy Tomato Basil Soup

Who says you have to pay a lot of money for tomato basil soup?  This is simple and easy to make and is easy on your budget.  It is much healthier than most because I used half-n-half instead of full or heavy cream.  Some of the tomato basil soups served at restaurants have as high as 38 g's of fat for one serving.  This is a better alternative.  

O Organics Organic Half-n-Half


Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size 2 tbsp
  • Servings Per Container 32
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 40Calories from Fat 30
  • % Daily Value*
  • Total Fat 3.5 g5%
  • Saturated Fat 2 g11%
  • Trans Fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 10 mg4%
  • Sodium 10 mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 1 g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g0%
  • Sugars 1 g
  • Protein 0 gN/A
  • Vitamin A 2%
  • Vitamin C 0%
  • Calcium 4%
  • Iron 0%


This is so good on a cold winter day by itself or with a grilled cheese sandwich.



The Players!


Chop your basil.


In a large sauce pan add your crushed tomatoes.  Cook over medium low heat until hot.  (Be careful, tomatoes like to plop and spew out of the pan).


Add in 1 tablespoon of chopped basil and the half-n-half.  Stir and heat over low for 15 minutes.  This is a very thick soup.  



I used my stick blender to puree the soup before serving.  Continue to heat for another 5 minutes.  



Use the remainder of the basil leaves for a garnish. 



Tomato Goodness!  



The Recipe:

Tomato Basil Soup

1 large (28 ounces) can of crushed tomatoes
½ cup Half-n-half
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
several small basil leaves for garnish

Chop basil and set aside.

In a large saucepan empty the can of crushed tomatoes.  Cook over medium- low heat until hot.  (Be careful, tomatoes like to plop and spew out of the pan).  Add in 1 tablespoon of chopped basil and the half-n-half.  Stir and heat over low for 15 minutes.  This is a very thick soup!  I used my stick blender to puree the soup before serving.  Continue to heat for another 5 minutes.  Use the small basil leaves for a garnish. 

Note:  If you like a thinner tomato soup use vegetable broth or chicken broth to thin soup to your desired consistency.

Happy Eating!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Aioli

Feeling a little crabby?  Fall and cold weather blues set in yet?  If your having a holiday get together these are great for an appetizer or starter for your guests. You can make them so fast and easy.  So head to your fish monger and get some fresh lump crab meat.  Get ready, go!!!

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