Skillet Fried Chicken Wings

January 30, 2014 § 6 Comments

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As Superbowl fervor has grown and game day snack recipe ideas are trumpeted across the land, I cannot get my mind off of chicken wings.  I have no idea how football and chicken wings became so dearly intertwined, but they certainly are and we have been hearing about wings nonstop for the last month.  How could I not fall prey to this tempation? Two weeks ago I made a batch of chicken wings that was very well received.  They were marinated, baked, then broiled and they were a fine, healthful rendition of hot wings.  But my itch, it was not scratched.  My true desire was to fry wings.  So inconvenient, so smelly, so time consuming.  Today, as I type I have a slight sheen of grease on my forehead, my hair smells like fry oil, and I have a smile on my face.  Beside me sits a sheet tray with row upon row of beautiful fried chicken wings, cooling.  I haven’t even eaten these wings yet and I know it was totally worth the trouble.

Sometimes we cook to relax, to recall, or to meditate.  For me, frying chicken is all of those things – the ultimate in comfort cooking.  You need to stay right there, stand by your stove and watch the oil bubble and the chicken turn golden. You can’t walk away and help the kid get that thing down from that place, or write an email.  Must stay with chicken.  The sound of the gurgling oil is kind of mesmerizing, and when you lift the chicken from the pan, if all has gone well, it looks just like store bought. I find that strangely satisfying.  For years my husband has tried to talk me out of frying chicken at home.  We have a few very decent fried chicken joints in our neighborhood, why bother going through all of this effort? Our little house smells like a fry basket by the time I’m done, and we have to open the windows, and close off the bedrooms. But I will not be dissuaded.  Where is the love in fried chicken that somebody else made? Accept this chicken as a token of my love, light a scented candle and quit yer moaning. « Read the rest of this entry »

Brown Butter Pecans, with Beet Salad

January 27, 2014 § 6 Comments

Let’s see,where was I….  It has been a year and a half since I wrote here.  But I’ve missed documenting recipes and writing about my successes and screw-ups in the kitchen.  And right now I have the luxury of time, so I thought: Heck. Revive the cooking blog. So here we are!  Thanks for reading.

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Today I will share with you a very simple recipe that produces an extraordinary little nut.  A nut that is elevated, better than all of the other nuts.  It is the brown butter pecan.  Mother nature does not create these beauties without the help of human hands, because Brown Butter Pecan Trees would be irresistible. Men would wage wars over them and empires would fall, tragedy would ensue.  But you can create these objects of desire in your own kitchen.  And you can eat them all and not share a single one, because let those other folks make their own damn brown butter pecans.  I would not know about these tasty morsels if my friend John hadn’t told me; he’s a great chef and I take his cooking advice whenever he gives it to me.  So when John told me to coat toasted pecans in a copious amount of brown butter and a bit of salt, I did it.  And dang, they were GOOD. In retrospect, they were obviously destined to be delicious: a toasted nut, slicked with nutty butter, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Yeah, it makes sense.

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