Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Big "Help"ings

My favorite movie of the year was by far is The Help.  So, as our main course for our Oscars Party... what do we decide to cook to pay tribute to this inspiring southern film?  Fried Chicken!  One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Minny Jackson is teaching Celia Foote how to shake and fry up some fried chicken.  Although I didn't use Minny's favorite ingredient, Crisco, it turned out just as crispy and moist... with a bit of heat.  I paired it with a few classic sides - Biscuits, Broccoli and Mashed Sweet Potatoes that turned this course into a filling comforting family meal.

Instead of using regular flour to coat the chicken, we used Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch).  I was shocked at how tasty and crunchy it came out.  If I didn't know any better, I would have thought it was made with wheat flour.  But, unfortunately, the biscuits came out dense and too crumbly but still tasty (still experimenting on GF baking...).

Fried Chicken

What you'll need: 

1 whole cut up Chicken (skin on!!)
GF All Purpose Flour
1 quart of Low Fat Buttermilk
 Cayenne Pepper
Canola Oil

Soak the chicken pieces in the buttermilk overnight in the fridge.  This helps the chicken stay moist and flavorful.  The next day, pour about 2 cups of flour in a dish and add the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika all according to your taste (I did big pinches).  Mix them up.  Place the chicken pieces into the flour mixture and press firmly.  You want a good coating of flour to stick to the chicken.  Once your pan (filled with about an inch of oil over medium-high heat) is hot, put in the chicken.  Turn the pieces about every 15 mins. so it gets nice and crispy.  Do this for about 40-45 mins.  Remember, dark meat pieces cook longer than white meat, so I usually keep them in separate pans.  Drain the chicken on cut open brown paper grocery bags to help soak up the oil.  The bags won't stick to the chicken like paper towels do.  And eat it while it's hot!

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