Sunday, January 27, 2013

Recipe: Easier Fried Chicken

Based on a September 2010 recipe from Cook's Illustrated, also in Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, 2011, p. 326. Prepared for dinner on December 30, 2012. Serves 6-8.


3½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (split breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon table salt
1 dash hot sauce
3 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1¾ cups vegetable oil


  1. Trim the chicken pieces of excess skin and fat (a good pair of kitchen shears works well for this task), cut breasts in half.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  3. Add the chicken and turn to coat all of the chicken.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon paprika, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, and remaining cayenne.
  6. Add ¼ cup of buttermilk to the flour and mix it into the flour mixture with your fingers forming small clumps.
  7. With a rack in the middle position, heat oven to 400°.
  8. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 375° in a heavy skillet or dutch oven.
  9. Dredge the chicken pieces one at a time in the flour mixture forming a thick coating. Place the coated pieces of chicken on a plate, skin-side up.
  10. Cook chicken skin-side down until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.
  11. Flip chicken and cook until the second side is golden brown, 2-4 minutes.
  12. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until internal temperature of chicken is 175° for dark meat and 160° for white, 15-20 minutes.
  13. Rest chicken for 5 minutes before serving.
Trim chicken pieces of excess skin and fat.  (These breasts should have been cut in half.)

Soak chicken in seasoned buttermilk brine.

Prepare coating by first mixing flour with salt, pepper, and spices.

Add buttermilk and mix with fingers, forming small clumps.

Dredge the chicken in the flour and cook in a oil to until both sides are golden brown. (My oil was probably a little too hot.)
Cook the chicken in a 400° oven until done.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Recipe: Rosemary Honey Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Based on a December 2012 video recipe from Food Wishes.  Prepared for dinner on December 25, 2012. Makes 35 rolls.


2¼ teaspoon (1 packet) rapid rise yeast
¼ cup warm (100°–110°) water
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
3 cups (approximately) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon milk
coarse salt


  1. Mix the yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small sauce pan over low heat, barely melt the butter in the milk and take it off heat. (Measure the temperature of the mixture, if it is greater than 110°, cool it to no less than 100° in the refrigerator or freezer.)
  3. Stir honey, salt, and rosemary into the yeast mixture.
  4. Add 2½ cups flour and milk mixture.
  5. Mix using the dough hook until the ingredients are combined.
  6. Add approximately ¼ cup flour and mix, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Continue adding flour and mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  8. Knead the dough for 6 minutes on low speed. It will be soft, elastic, and slightly sticky.
  9. Coat the dough with olive oil, cover the bowl with foil or plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.
  10. Turn the dough onto a cutting board and press flat into a rectangle.
  11. Cut the rectangle into 6 equal width strips and cut each strip into 6 equal sized pieces.
  12. Form each piece into a smooth ball by tucking the corners together.
  13. Place the balls on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon baking mat, 7 rows of 5 balls. The balls should be placed close together but not touching, leave about ¼-inch between balls.
  14. Use the dough from the 36th piece to augment the smaller rolls so they're more uniform in size.
  15. Beat the egg and milk together and brush the rolls with this egg wash.
  16. Sprinkle sea salt on the rolls (or sesame seeds or poppy seeds).
  17. Let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes.
  18. Heat oven to 375° with a rack in the center position.
  19. Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  20. Let the rolls cool, serve warm, and "Enjoy!".
Mix yeast and warm water in bowl of stand mixer and let stand for 10 minutes.
Barely melt butter in milk.

Add chopped rosemary, honey, and salt to yeast mixture.
Combine yeast mixture, milk mixture, and 2½ cups flour.
Gradually add flour and mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl then knead for 6 minutes.
Coat the dough with olive oil and let rise, covered, at room temperature until doubled in volume.
Gently pat dough into a rectangle and cut into 36 equal-sized pieces.
Form into 35 balls, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt.
Let rise for 30 minutes then bake at 375° until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipe: Individual Chocolate Soufflés

Based on a September 1996 recipe from Cook's Illustrated published as "Make Ahead Chocolate Soufflé".  Prepared for dinner on December 25, 2012. Makes 8 individual soufflés.


5 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
⅛ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar


  1. Soften 1 tablespoon butter
  2. Coat the insides of eight 1 cup ramekins with the butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the coated ramekins and refrigerate.
  3. Separate the eggs using three bowls to prevent contaminating the whites with any broken yolks. Use a small bowl to collect the white from each egg. If there is no contamination with yolk, pour the white of each egg into the second bowl and the yolks into the third. Collect 6 yolks and 8 whites.
  4. Gently melt the chocolate (break the bars into small pieces) and 4 tablespoons butter in a bowl set inside a sauce pan of barely simmering water.
  5. Remove the bowl from the sauce pan and stir in vanilla extract, orange liqueur, and salt.
  6. Add ⅓ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a small sauce pan. Bring to a bowl then simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  7. With a mixer running, slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg yolks.
  8. Beat the yolk mixture until tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.  
  9. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate.
  10. With cleaned beaters, beat the egg whites until frothy.   
  11. Add cream of tarter and continue beating to soft peaks.
  12. Add confectioner's sugar and beat to stiff peaks. 
  13. Stir one-third of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture.
  14. Gently fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
  15. Fill each ramekin, cover and freeze until ready to bake, at least 3 hours.
  16. Place oven rack in lower-middle position and heat oven to 400°.
  17. Bake souffés until fully risen and cooked through, 16-20 minutes.
  18. Serve immediately.
Coat eight ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter then 1 tablespoon sugar and refrigerate.
Using three bowls separate eggs, retaining 8 whites and 6 yolks.
Gently melt together the butter and chocolate.
Off heat, add liqueur, salt, and vanilla to melted chocolate.
Bring sugar and water to a boil then simmer until sugar dissolves.
Slowly mix sugar syrup into egg yolks.
Beat yolks until tripled in volume.
Fold chocolate mixture into beaten yolks.
Beat eggs to stiff peaks, adding cream of tarter and confectioner's sugar along the way.
Mix one-third of the eggs into the chocolate then gently fold in the remaining egg until just combined.

Add mixture to ramekins, cover with plastic, and freeze.
Bake soufflés at 400° until fully risen and set, about 16-20 minutes.