Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

1 whole fryer chicken cut into 8 pieces
3 ½ tsp seasoned salt divided
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
3 cups buttermilk divided
3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
3 large eggs
1 tsp hot sauce
Oil for frying preferably peanut or vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Season chicken pieces on all sides with 1 tsp seasoned salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Place into an oblong baking dish and cover with 2 ½ cups buttermilk. Turn to coat. Chill overnight, turning once.
  • 30 minutes before frying: Remove chicken from buttermilk, discard marinade. On a plate sift together the flour, cornstarch, 2 tsp seasoned salt, 1 tsp black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika.
  • In a large shallow bowl whisk together the eggs, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ cup buttermilk and hot sauce.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in flour, into egg wash then into flour again. Arrange on a baking sheet. Let stand for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature and set breading.
  • To fry: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with an oven safe baking rack. Set aside.
  • Fill a 12-inch cast iron skillet between ? full with oil. Heat to 350°F. Carefully lower chicken pieces in oil. Fry dark meat and white meat separately.
  • Maintain oil temperature around 350°F. Fry chicken in batches cooking dark meat pieces and white meat separately. Cook for 10-15 minutes per side or until juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Turn carefully using tongs to avoid splatters.
  • Place fried pieces on rack and keep warm in oven between batches.
  • Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Wendy’s To Invest Heavily In India

Of the 3 big burger chain franchises that are available in India – McDonald’s, Burger King & Wendy’s – it is Wendy’s that has struggled. I have only had the opportunity to have their food once, back in 2016 when I was in Gurgaon for 2 weeks. And they only had outlets in the Delhi metro area.

Wendy’s launched in India back in 2015 and when I had checked in 2016 they had 5 to 6 outlets in the Delhi-Gugaon area. Now they only have 3 with the others permanently shut down a while ago. While McDonald’s have thrived with over 400 branches in the country and Burger King a distance second at 261, Wendy’s has struggled. However I must say – granted I have only had the one Chicken Baconator with fries and an ice tea from them – they beat out McD & BK in taste and quality. Plus they had real bacon. Pork!

Good news as I did a random check and found out that from an article in December, Wendy’s is investing heavily in the Indian market with their partners Rebel Foods and hope to grow its business in India through digital innovation. Wendy’s plan to open 150 traditional restaurants across the country as well as develop and operate 250 cloud kitchens in India as the coronavirus drives up demand for food delivery. 

I hope they crack the market. Cause I want my Wendy’s.

Creamy VS Crunchy Peanut Butter

Creamy vs Crunchy

Creamy PB is as smooth as a baby’s bottom and is the shade of warm Hawaiian sand. Crunchy PB, on the other hand, is a bumpy brown mess. It doesn’t come out of the jar on a spoon in the perfect, round mound in which creamy PB does. Instead, it’s a gross runny and lumpy blob. Smooth peanut butter is creamy, which means it spreads easier on bread, and it mixes better into desserts and smoothies. Smooth peanut butter also lends itself to being licked from a spoon.

The most noticeable difference between the two peanut butters is that crunchy peanut butter generally contains about a full gram more of fiber than its creamy counterpart. Fiber is super important in regulating your digestive system, and it is a super good for you nutrient that helps you feel full for longer periods throughout the day, which prevents overeating and generally quells the desire to binge on unhealthy processed foods. Crunchy peanut butter also contains less saturated fat, which is the less healthy fat that your body can take.

Creamy peanut butter has a touch more protein, but crunchy PB has more folate and fiber, a nutrient that helps maintain bowel health. At the end of the day, though, their nutrient profiles are pretty darn close. Unless you’re strictly watching your saturated fat intake (there’s more of the nutrient in creamy peanut butter) there’s no reason you shouldn’t just choose the spread you enjoy the most.

Lays American Cream & Onion

What are your favourite snacks? I have stated here before that my favourite movie theatre snack is M&M peanuts and then the cheese popcorn that they serve in the theatres as well as the caramel popcorn. I started going less and less to theatres and in 2020 I haven’t even been to one due to Covid. But I do watch a lot of movies at home and I prefer M&M peanuts and if that is not there then popcorn.

But yeah, what about chips? My joint favourite flavour is Lay’s American Style cream & Onion. The Indian arm of Pepsi/Frito-Lay created a product that duplicated the taste of the American version of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion to sell in India. From what I understand it is supposed to be the Indian version of Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion and it tastes different and even looks different. The American ones are flat while international versions are narrow-rippled. I cannot compare the two since we don’t get the American ones over here and I have not tasted them.

But I love these. I get two big bags every couple of months and eat them over a few days each. Stretching them as much as I can to enjoy with my evening coffee or a movie. I rarely have them with beer though because my other joint favourite flavoure is the one I like with beer or vodka.

The Love Of The Burrito

Growing up, one of the elusive fast food items that I had seen in many a Hollywood movie or American tv show was the burrito. Not during the 11 years growing up in Kuwait or til very recently did I ever see burritos around me. A little over till 3 years ago I had heard of a Mexican themed restuarant in Kakkanad but I never got the chance to go there. However a few weeks after that I was in Cafe 17 in Kaloor and I saw that they had a minced beef burrito as well as a veggie one. Ofcourse I was gonna try it!

A burrito is a dish in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine consisting of a flour tortilla wrapped into a sealed cylindrical shape around various ingredients. The tortilla is sometimes lightly grilled or steamed to soften it, make it more pliable, and allow it to adhere to itself when wrapped. Burritos can also be served “wet”, that is to say covered in a savory and spicy sauce, where they would be eaten with a fork and knife rather than the convential hand held meal it usually is.

Burritos are filled with a savory filling, most often a meat such as chicken, beef, or pork, and often include a large array of other ingredients such as rice, cooked beans (either whole or refried), vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes, cheese, and condiments such as salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, or crema. Cafe 17’s burritos was devoid of salsa and quacamole but it has the rest. And then in late 2018 (just before Christmas) Taco Bell launched in my city. I have enjoyed a couple of burritos from there and even a taco but I really prefer the burrito. They are fun, versatile (for any meal of the day and uses all sorts of ingredients), and also happen to be extremely tasty! A single burrito would make up a whole meal, as they are quite filling.

What’s The Beef, India?

Long long ago, long before any religion ever existed, there lived a civilization in the Indian sub-continent who were primarily farmers. They settled in the banks of major rivers, concentrated on agriculture and cattle farming. 

Cattle became an integral part of their existence because they

  • provide nutritious milk for children on a daily basis,
  • provide manure which was turned into a fertilizer to support agriculture, and
  • actively got involved in physical labor like land tilling, grinding rice etc.

The only major investment was fodder, which anyway came from agriculture. People never hurt cows because they treated it with respect, love and faith. In short, the ancient strategy for preservation worked for thousands of years! Protecting such an asset became vital to the society and its economic stability. It became a tradition, slowly crept into religion and holy books, and thus began the tale of cow worship.

Liberal Hindus: Some people realized why cows were important at one time, understood why it was worshiped, understood why it doesn’t make sense anymore in the modern society. They accepted on eating beef. Few of them chose not to eat it out of respect towards old traditions.

Conservative Hindus: They still believe that cows are sacred and worship them. They don’t eat beef. Some of them understand that it is a personal choice and are okay with others eating beef. While some of the extreme conservative Hindus can’t really stand the idea of others eating beef.

Legislation against cattle slaughter is in place throughout most states of India except Kerala, Goa, West Bengal, and states of Northeast India. In short, it mostly depends on where you live in India, if you do eat beef or not. At the end, roughly 25% of Hindus eat beef. 

Burger Sauce?

So I usually buy some spread or the other for my sandwiches. If I am having breakfast at home I usually prefer to lightly toast bread slices and use a spread like mayonnaise or peanut butter. After eating jam until I turned 20, I stopped that and usually went for just ketchup and later dry toasts. A few years ago I started out with honey on my toasts but I soon got tired of that.

I then started an interest in mayonnaise and flavoured mayo like garlic or jalapenos or both mixed in. I moved onto eggless mayo and then middle of last year I started buying peanut butter since it is delicious. Two nights ago I placed an order for some grocery items on this online app and I also selected my fav brand of peanut butter and accidentally selected the burger sauce option instead of regular veg mayonnaise. In my defense, both say the same thing but the colour of the sauce in the jar should have alarted me. Again, I was in the middle of my work shift while I placed the order.

It arrived and I saw that what I have ordered was burger sauce. Burger Sauce is usually a creamy sauce made with a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise with additional mix-ins that make it unique and give it extra flavor. Stir together 3 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp ketchup, 25g finely chopped cornichons and 1 tbsp American mustard. It says that there is mustard in this brand but I doubt it. I gave it a taste this morning on my sandwiches and it is ok but I still prefer mayo.

An Eggcellent Alternative

Quail eggs are a tiny and cute alternative to chicken eggs. They taste remarkably like chicken eggs but are small — typically just one-third the size of a standard chicken egg. They have cream-colored shells with brown splotches and deep-yellow yolks.

For their size, they are packed with nutrients, but there are some precautions to take when dealing with them, especially if you are pregnant or have an egg allergy. For being so small, these eggs are surprisingly rich in nutrients.

A single quail egg provides a significant chunk of your daily vitamin B12, selenium, riboflavin, and choline needs, along with some iron — all in a serving that contains only 14 calories. Selenium and riboflavin are important nutrients that help your body break down the food you eat and transform it into energy. Selenium also helps ensure healthy thyroid function. Meanwhile, vitamin B12 and iron promote healthy nervous system function and help maintain optimal energy levels through their roles in red blood cell formation. In addition, choline is vital to helping your body make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that sends messages from your nervous system to your muscles.

Benefits of eating Quail Eggs include improve metabolism, promote bone strength, help to speed up recovery, beneficial to the respiratory system, help in maintaining regular sugar levels in the blood, help relieve depression, detox our bodies, boost concentration, have anti-aging properties, perfect for a protein-based  diet, improve skin health, treat acne, make your nails shine, reduce hair loss and help control dandruff.

Final Meal?

The menu for your last meal ever

I’ve been fascinated with this fact that in some countries, they give the criminal who is about to be executed a last meal of his/her choice. And you can get anything – from a sweet snack at a local convenience store to a 4 to 5 course meal and even alcohol depending on where you are. In the words of Spock, “fascinating”.

Well this prompt just says last meal ever. So if the world is about to end tomorrow or if I am to die tomorrow and this is my last meal, what would I order? Tough choice but I will go with some tried and tested old family favourites and some additions. I’d eat some fried chicken a la KFC and some shawarma because they remind me of my favourite dinners from my childhood. Especially sitting down with my family for dinner. But I would also like some pizza and a burger with bacon and a fried egg for lunch/dinner. How about some tandoori chicken, bbq chicken, pork and beef? Some lasagna, noodles and fried rice? I’d like to finish it off with some ice cream and join my friends for a final booze fest. Drink beer, brandy & my fav vodka!

That sounds like a lot but I’d probably only eat spoonfuls or bites from each. That would be good. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking of that feast.

Prompt from Sweet ideas: 50 things to blog about

Eggnog Preparation

Ingredients

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 pint whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3 ounces bourbon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

4 egg whites

Directions

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved.

2. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

3. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

Cook’s Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

6. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

7. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.