Monday, May 13, 2024

sort of like KFC

A while ago I came across somewhere what purported to be the original recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. I remember the KFC of my childhood, much tastier than the stuff they have today, so I saved it in my recipe book, but I didn't pull it out until now, when the prospect of an evening's dinner at home on my own made it feasible to try the rather elaborate directions.

I bought a couple pounds of my favorite chicken piece, wing mid-joints, as they're called in the Japanese market which is the only place I know where you can buy a package without having to get drumettes along with them, lined up the other ingredients, turned on my little portable deep fryer, and set to work.

First you soak the chicken for half an hour in a buttermilk and egg mixture. The recipe is for a full 8-piece regular chicken, and my wing flats were less than that, but I had to make a double helping of the mixture to cover all the chicken.

On the other hand, I had more than enough of the mixture featuring the famous eleven herbs and spices. I already had ten of these in my pantry, and the last was easy enough to get. You take varying amounts, usually a tbsp, of each, totaling about a cup of material altogether, and mix it with two cups of flour. Dredge the chicken in the bowl of the mixture, let it sit again for another half hour, and it's ready to cook in small batches.

The recipe said fry at 350 for 15-18 minutes, but wing flats, which I've fried before, are very small and don't take nearly that long. I tried the first batch for 8 minutes, and found the coating was a dark brown, not the "medium golden brown" the recipe states. I then tried a batch for 5 minutes, which is closer to my usual frying time for flats. The meat, when I tasted it, was juicier because not overcooked, but the coating was just as dark.

It didn't taste much like KFC. The seasoning was faintly reminiscent, but not nearly enough so to have been worth the trouble of assembling a small army of spice jars to make it. And the coating, besides being rather dark-tasting, was hard and crisp, not the soft and dangly of traditional KFC. It was good chicken, but not very akin to KFC.

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