Sunday, November 16, 2008

Culinary Bungling

I love to cook, but that doesn't mean that I'm good at it. My fiance' works about a billion hours a week, and the only night we have for dinner together at the house is Sunday. Tonight, after several weeks of having other dinner obligations on Sunday nights, I finally had an opportunity to cook dinner for my beloved. I decided that I was going to make Paula Deen's fried chicken recipe. I was all ready...I had all the ingredients, I'd gone to Publix early today to get the chicken, and I even had the courage to ask the butcher to cut it up for me (MUCH more affordable than buying individual pieces, but I have a strange fear of asking the butcher to do things, after the meat fiasco of a couple months ago).

So, I'm getting ready to fry up some chicken. The Dutch oven is on the stove, heating, and I add the vegetable oil. And it CATCHES ON FIRE. Do you throw water on a grease fire, or NOT throw water on a grease fire? I can't remember! After screaming for the fiance', I remember that the vegetable oil package said to smother the fire, so I grab the lid for the Dutch oven and throw it on top. After the smoke cleared (literally), I tried to decide what I was going to do.

Okay, I decide, I'll just fry it in olive oil. So I heat my olive oil and start my first batch of chicken. Seems to be going well at first. Then, I realize that the outside is getting MIIIIGHTY crispy. And by crispy, I mean burnt. So I take the chicken out and cut into it. Raw at the bone. Totally raw. I try to continue the cooking, but the outside is just charred. The second batch, not much better.

This is why God made KFC. We chucked all the half-raw chicken and brought home some greasy popcorn chicken instead. Oh hell yeah.

I believe my downfall was twofold: my chicken was too big (over three pounds, when the recipe called for a one and a half to two pound chicken...but it was all that Publix had!) and/or my oil was too hot. I watch enough Food Network to know that if your oil is too hot, it will burn the outside of whatever you're cooking, while undercooking the interior. And if it's not hot enough, you'll get grease-logged food.

So, as I told the fiance', there's ONE thing in this world that I can't do: fry chicken. I guess we'll continue to order ours in the drive through.


NerdGirl said...

Poor Alexis. Sorry you had to resort to KFC when you had a nice dinner planned but it sounds like you kept your sense of humor about the whole thing. It may not be as crispy, but I tend to fry the chicken to get the outside nice and crispy and then bake it in the oven to get it cooked all the way through. Also, I stick some cheap white bread under the chicken while it is baking to soak up any grease.

Lexi said...

Hi Jenni!

Oh my God, I'm such a mess in the kitchen. I should have tried the ol' baking method. Sigh. Maybe I'll try again, but probably not for QUITE a while...

Anonymous said...

I've never fried mom and grandma are awesome cooks, so who needs to fry chicken (and cook Thanksgiving dinner, for that matter) when I've got them?
I know that sounds bad, but I can cook. I just don't like to, most of the time. My mom gave me a card once that said "every pan is a no stick pan when you no cook on it."