This afternoon, I had taken out a pack of organic chicken thighs, planning to marinate them in some homemade teriyaki sauce, then broil them for dinner. Alongside, I planned to saute half a vidalia onion with two diagonally sliced zucchini squash. Then, I started to think that we’ve had teriyaki a lot lately and that our tastes were getting a little narrow, what with me being “stuck” in the house, trying to cook imaginatively using a few groceries bought at a time.
To tell the truth, what I really craved was fried chicken. Yep. Soaked in buttermilk, dipped in flour, then beaten egg, then some scrumptious bread crumbs with a little Lawrey’s garlic salt, browned in a little unsalted butter and sprinkled with some dried parsley for show. There was a little fresh buttermilk left in the fridge from making the banana cake the other day so I rinsed off the chicken in cold water, dried the pieces thoroughly and then slid them into a bath of buttermilk. Then I turned my attention to making bread crumbs that would be crunchy and tasty at the same time but not overpowering. I melted some unsalted butter into my Mauviel stainless skillet, dumped the half pack of panko crumbs that I found in the cupboard; then sprinkled a little garlic salt into the crumbs while they heated up in the pan; then a sprinkle of dried parsley at the end. It smelled divine. I let the skillet cool.
The recipes I looked at online indicated it might be a good idea to prepare the chicken with the crumbs and let them sit in the fridge for a half an hour to “set” the panko so that it would adhere better to the chicken. So I pulled up my wheelchair to the table balancing the thighs soaking in buttermilk. I beat up two eggs in a separate bowl, set some flour on a plate, and proceeded to do the three-dip crusting thing that I learned awhile back whenever you’re breading something:
a. dredge lightly in flour first, shaking off the excess
b. dip into the beaten eggs
c. then dip lightly on both sides into the prepared crumbs
The pieces looked beautiful if I do say so myself. I made some room in the fridge and set them to “cure” for a half hour. Then I preheated the oven to 425 degrees. I took the chicken out while the oven was preheating and slid them into the oven for what was supposed to be about 35 minutes. I’m going to watch them though, because they’re sizable pieces and I want to make sure they’re cooked to the bone and not too pink inside. Toward that end, I’m letting them bake for 20 minutes at 425 and then will turn down the oven to 375 until the juices run clear when pricked–and also so as not to scorch the wonderful crumb crust on the fried chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, I’ll start the skillet heating up for the onions and zucchini as a vegetable side dish. And guess what’s for dessert? Banana cake! YAY!