I never really wrote for myself. Though i loved writing prose from as long as i can remember. Writing a good piece made me happy, but it was never enough. I needed the high from someone else telling me how good it was. And so i never wrote without an audience in mind. Now i sit in front of the computer to update my blog and find that i have lost my audience. (understandably of course, because who waits a year and more to find out what you are up to and what eats interest you) And i realize it really is time for me to write for myself. To get lost in my words, so that they may make me happier than what i am. To find paths through my mind that will excite me, as i walk the same old roads everyday in the physical world. To accept that it's alright to not always have to be proclaimed as the best, just to be the best within your unchangeable circumstances without giving in to despair. I need to put these into written words to believe them, to read again when that despair starts to creep up.
And maybe eat some fried chicken to keep the spirits up. Fried chicken might be staple food in homes in the Americas, but for us its fast food introduced by KFC. And being able to eat (forbidden) fast food for a main meal gives me a high. We didn't get it right the first time, though. Our first attempt at making fried chicken at home went horribly wrong because we had no cooking thermometers at home to measure the precise temperature of the oil. So predictably we had a burnt crust with raw chicken in the middle, with the husband telling me why its best to leave these things to the experts. If you want to eat fried chicken, why can't we just order out like normal people?? I let it be for a few months and then began research. Picked up steps from multiple recipes and finally made up my own recipe that didn't need a thermometer to get you tasty, edible, home-made fried chicken. Here's what i did.
- 6 Chicken pieces; skin on, bone on (thighs and legs recommended)
- Salt - about 4 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 garlic pod - optional
- 2 Cups All purpose flour
- 2 Eggs
- oil for deep frying
1. Place chicken pieces in a container (recommend steel container that can be placed on the stove later) and fill with water till chicken is just submerged. Add salt and flavourings to the bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours before cooking. Adding flavourings such as whole peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic pod (cut in half, skin on) to the salt water is optional, and is recommended only if you have longer marinade time.
2. Take the chicken container out of the fridge and place on high heat until the water starts boiling. Now reduce flame to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes at simmer. Turn off the flame and leave the chicken for another 10 minutes in the hot water.
3. Drain the water completely and place chicken pieces on a clean dry plate to air-dry.
4. While the chicken dries off, prepare two bowls; one with all purpose flour (plain flour will do, but add salt and spice powders, if you like) and the other with eggs, beaten lightly with a fork.
5. Take each chicken piece, coat it with flour; dip it in egg and roll to coat completely; again place it in flour and coat with flour generously. Place on a clean, dry plate and repeat with all chicken pieces.
6. Take oil in a kadai/pot to half height and heat on medium-high. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking hot) fry the chicken pieces in batches without crowding the oil. Remove from oil when the chicken turns golden brown (or whatever colour you like it at).
7. Sprinkle with any dry seasoning of choice, if you have used plain all purpose flour for coating chicken. I have used Fajita seasoning and Italian seasoning on separate occasions, with good results.8. Eat with fingers and lick them clean
- You can keep the fried chicken pieces in a warm oven (at 200F) to serve hot up to 1 hour after frying, without the chicken getting dried out. More than 1 hour affects the texture in my experience.
- The longer you can marinade the chicken in salt solution (max 24 hours), juicier and more flavourful the chicken