Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bring the yummy IV

Why is it that stuff that tastes good tends to be bad for you? Story of my life, I suspect, because although I was ranting on about my love of Italian food, I do feel obliged to detail one of my favorite meals. Not only is it really bad for you, but it is also as American as apple pie, which may explain why we are the fattest nation in the world. Good for the occasional cheat meal, may I present:

Oven Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Corn on the Cob

2 cups milk
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup unsifted flour
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
4 whole chicken legs

2 lb red bliss potatoes
3 tbsp butter

4 ears corn, preferably Silver Queen, although yellow will work

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter well a deep baking dish. Pour the milk into a large bowl. Whisk the meal, flour, and spices together in a separate large bowl. Dip the chicken pieces in the milk and then dredge in the corn meal and flour mixture. Reserve the milk for use with the mashed potatoes. Place the dredged chicken in the baking dish, placing a pat of butter on top of each piece. Cook for 55 minutes, turning and applying another pat of butter at about 30 minutes in. Or you can baste about every 10 minutes, but I tend not to have the patience.

While the chicken is cooking, place the potatoes in a large pot and add water until the potatoes are completely covered by at least an extra inch or two of water. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, covered, until potatoes yield easily to a fork (about 20-25 minutes). Then drain the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Beat lightly with a mixer for about 20 seconds to break up the potatoes. Keep in mind they WILL BE HOT. Add the butter and blend for another 15-20 seconds, distributing the butter evenly. Now slowly begin to pour in the milk until the mash is at the desired consistency. Some like them thick, some like them thin.

(As an aside here, I often add mustard or Caesar Salad dressing at this point to add some extra zing. Experiment and find out what works. Also remember to time your potatoes with the finish of the chicken. Nothing is worse that sitting around with cold mash potatoes waiting for hot fried chicken. I’d recommend starting your potatoes about 20 minutes after the chicken, depending on how hot your stovetop gets.)

Likewise, you should time your corn appropriately. Pour about 4-5 inches of water into a pot large enough to hold all four ears. I would suggest starting the water on low heat when you start the chicken. This way, it will be ready to boil at a moment's notice. Once you're ready to go, bring the water to a boil over high heat and drop in the ears. Let them stand there uncovered until the water returns to a boil, but not for more than 5 minutes. Drain or remove from the water with tongs and serve immediately with the chicken and mashed potatoes.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, I’d recommend pouring some juices from the pan over the potatoes; fattening as hell, but SO tasty.

So go get chubby but happy.

Weight loss anthems:

Seba - Return To Forever
(ambient drum and bass goodness)

Breaks The Blank Day - Breaks The Blank Day
(melancholy glitch experimentation)

Enduser - The End
(give me more, give me more, give me more breakcore)

Bjork - Debut
(leaving the cubes behind)

Dead Can Dance - Within The Realm Of The Dying Sun
(I still think Brendan sounds like Sinatra)


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