Sunday, November 14, 2010

If You're Playing With Fryer, You're Going To Get Burned

Our readers around the world may not be familiar with the gastro-economic phenomenon of the $4 supermarket rotisserie chicken. What a blessed life I live, that I can gather up the change under the passenger seat of my 1998 Ford Escort and buy an entire fucking chicken. I mean, this is third world price, people! What has America come to? I blame Obama...

Wait, wait, wait. Wait.


If Obama was really responsible for $4 rotisserie chickens, the Democrats wouldn't have lost control of the House of Representatives. Everybody loves rotisserie chicken. Even you vegans secretly love rotisserie chicken - feel free to admit that in the comments section below.

What blows my mind is that I can buy a fully cooked chicken at the supermarket for less than a raw chicken. How is that possible? Cooks cost money. Fire costs money. Those little plastic bags (or trays) that the rotisserie chickens come in cost money. Unless these chickens are being roasted through a charitable donation from the Chubb Group, this goes against basic economics, which means that rotisserie chickens are inherently Communist.

So I bought one. Then I ate half of it. The next day, I had to come up with something to do with the other half. I didn't feel like just eating it off the bone again, so I decided to get creative. How about some BBQ chicken sliders?

First thing's first, gotta pull that chicken apart. A couple of strategic cuts separate the wing, leg and thigh from the rest of the chicken and a skilled blade liberates the breast meat from the carcass. I like to get my hands dirty (or rather, greasy), so I shred the breast meat by hand before chopping up the dark meat. If you decide to try this with the chicken still hot, you're dumb. Let it cool down or you'll burn your hands.

Next, make some sauce. I had some leftover chipotle peppers from a recent batch of chili, so I decided to make a maple chipotle BBQ sauce. This was super easy:

  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chop the peppers up very fine)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • a splash of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove of roasted or sauteed garlic (finely chopped)
  • a liberal dash of onion powder
  • a conservative dash of celery salt
  • an independent dash of black pepper
Let that all simmer in a saucepan for about 15-20 minutes. It'll be spicy, but the maple syrup will give you a nice sweet balance. Add the pulled chicken and bring it all up to safe temperature.

Hmm, what's going to go well with a BBQ chicken sandwich? How about some seasoned potato wedges? But I don't have a deep fryer in my kitchen! No problem, because I'm smart. First, let's cut some potatoes into wedges. I did 4 potatoes, which was way too many...

I could just fry these as-is and they'd probably turn out OK, but if I'm going to create a makeshift deep fryer in my house, then I'm going to go all out here. That means breading and seasoning these little bastards. I went with a traditional three-step breading process: flour, egg/milk wash, seasoning blend. My seasonings were a 60/40 mix of flour and Italian bread crumbs, plus dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper. I also had someone with lovelier hands than mine pop them through the stations while I tended to the danger grease.

OK, all joking aside: don't try this at home unless you know what you're doing. Delicious potato wedges are not worth the risk of starting a grease fire and burning your home to a crisp. If you are going to try this without an actually deep fryer (or FryDaddy), you need the following:
  • A deep pot (I used a small stock pot)
  • A metal scoop with either a wire mesh or slots to allow grease to pass through (DO NOT USE PLASTIC, DUMMY)
  • A bin to put the cooked food into
  • An oil thermometer (this is really, really important)
  • An oil with a high smoke point like peanut oil
Put about an inch-and-a-half of oil in the pot and turn on the heat. Mount the oil thermometer on the pot so that the probe end is in the oil (without touching the bottom of the pot). You're looking for an oil temperature of 350 degrees, which if you have a good stove and a good pot, you'll get to pretty quickly. Pay close attention to the oil temperature: too low and your food won't cook correctly, too hot and it will start to smoke, which will make your food taste bad.

Cook your wedges about 8-10 at a time. You don't want to overload the fryer because you won't get oil coverage over all the wedges. Use the scoop to grab the uncooked wedges and dip them in the oil. DO NOT DROP THEM IN, OR THE OIL WILL SPLATTER AND YOU WILL GET BURNT! If your wedges are thin enough, you probably only need to cook them between 60-90 seconds to get them golden brown and crunchy on the outside and fully cooked on the inside. Use the scoop to carefully remove the wedges from the fryer and put them in the bin. Sprinkle some salt on those immediately after taking them out of the fryer: potatoes accept seasoning more readily when hot. Repeat these small batches until the oil gets "dirty." If you're making a lot, you may have to strain or change the oil.

NEVER, EVER PUT FROZEN OR WET FOOD INTO HOT GREASE! IT WILL SPLATTER AND YOU WILL GET FUCKED UP! You probably should have a fire extinguisher nearby, because seriously, dude, I do not trust you.

Before I started, I turned my oven on to 350 degrees because I thought I might have to keep the wedges warm and I knew I would have to toast my slider buns. Once I had fried all the wedges, I threw them in the oven for about 4-5 minutes while I toasted the buns. Once the buns were done, it was all over but the plating.

This is the part where we put in the disclaimer about not being responsible for your loss of skin, property or life because you were a careless fuckhead. Seriously, go buy a FryDaddy or just let somebody else deep fry your food for you. Or don't deep fry anything at all, because you may not have heard, but it's not healthy at all...


Jon said...

home frying is a terrifying and delicious ordeal. i've had a fifty% success rate with it. excellent fried chicken, over cooked fries.

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