Saturday, October 17, 2009

Buttermilk frying...and something completely different

There seems to be a bit of a debate as to how to do Southern Fried Chicken. Should you use a traditional brine or should you pseudo-brine in buttermilk instead? The benefits of using buttermilk are well-known, with its slight acidity helping creating for a more tender chicken. In my opinion, after trying both methods, buttermilk doesn't contribute a whole lot to flavor. If anything, my poultry rub (that always sounds dirty) has to be a bit stronger for buttermilk frying. For my chicken biscuit, I decided to use buttermilk for a crust, having already been happy with how the brine's turned out. I did give it an hour or two in buttermilk just to make sure it really stuck.

And there it is. It makes for a nice dark crust, but one that's a bit heavy and thick. Interestingly, using buttermilk makes the overall taste of the chicken sweeter (the Coke is more noticeable). I think I prefer egg and flour or Panko, but this is certainly on the table and will be up for review.

In other news, I used an gift card to order some psych books, and with the leftover, I got something I've been meaning to get ever since BLT Steak. Here's my first attempt at popovers, with my brand new popover pan.

Not bad I think. I used a bit of bread flour just to make sure they held together, but I think I'm cool to use all AP from now on, and maybe the weaker dough will puff bigger.
I also topped a couple with some gruyere:

This was shredded by the food processor, and I think ended up being a bit too heavy. I don't actually own a cheese grater though, so we'll see if microplaned gruyere is too light and burns right away.

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