Tag Archives: celery seed

Recipe Review: Crispy Fried Chicken

I’ve tried many methods for fried chicken. The ones that use only flour, or the three stage flour–egg–breadcrumb process, or the buttermilk marinade followed by breading, but it seems like the crispness doesn’t hold up for more than a minute or two past frying. They all taste good, but I really expect a crisp coating if I’m going to go to the trouble of frying. This recipe—Crispy Fried Chicken from Taste of Home—delivers. The name says it all.

What they do differently than most recipes is add flour to the egg wash, so that you are really dipping it in a batter before adding a final coating of seasoned flour. The final coating makes a shaggy layer that crisps up all over the chicken. Sometimes you get that shaggy look when you start with a buttermilk soak, but I find this egg–water–flour batter works even better than buttermilk.

I usually use an electric deep fryer, but I only made four pieces today, so I used a high-sided stock pot with a couple inches of oil. Unlike the original recipe, I did not use bone-in chicken; I used boneless thighs, which cook more quickly, about a total of five minutes in 375° oil for each piece.

Crispy Fried Chicken

  • Servings: will coat about 4 lbs
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt or garlic powder plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons  white or black pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning—I used a combination of sage and celery seed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • up to 4 lbs chicken pieces, with or without skin. I used boneless thighs.
  • cooking oil for frying
Preparation
  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl for the final coating and set aside. The original recipe suggests a plastic bag, but I find patting on the flour works better, creating a shaggier coating that has lots of crispy edges.
  2. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and water, then whisk in the second amount of flour and salt, until the batter is smooth.
  3. Coat chicken pieces in batter then dredge in seasoned flour, patting the flour on until all the batter is covered and the coating is dry enough to handle and set aside.
  4. Heat cooking oil to 375° not allowing it to fall below 350° between batches. Fry chicken in small batches, depending on the size of your fryer, so that you keep the oil temperature high throughout. My boneless thighs cooked in 5 minutes, one piece at a time. The original recipe suggests that bone-in pieces would take about 5-6 minutes per side. My oil was deep enough that I didn’t need to turn my pieces over.

★★★★★ = Five Stars

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Grilled, Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

So one way not to cook so many hamburgers on the grill is to smush all the ground beef into a meatloaf, right?

There is a lot of inspiration on the web for wrapping rolls of meat in bacon and then slow-cooking or smoking the roll on the grill. I get a lot of that inspiration from Tony Meets Meat (obviously contains meat recipes!), although I didn’t really want to stuff the meatloaf, and stuffing seems to be a popular meme for meat rolls on the web. Usually the rolls are stuffed with more meat, but don’t think turducken. There are also some good ideas for grilling a meatloaf without a stuffing, most of them, as well as the aforementioned meat rolls, using a woven mat of bacon to hold it all together. The bacon weave is a great idea, not just for the flavor but for how it keeps the meat inside basted throughout a long cooking.

I used the snake charcoal method and cooked the loaf for 3 hours at about 250°-300°. The internal temperature at the end was about 177° and it was not overdone. The meatloaf was terrifically juicy throughout and the bacon had a moist, chewy texture. I put the loaf on a narrow strip of foil, which doubled as a lifter, so the bacon on the bottom was not browned, but it melted in your mouth. It was another Wow! meal. I have made bacon-wrapped meatloaves in the oven many times, but the bacon dries out too much. Not so on the grill.

Grilled, Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

  • Servings: 1 loaf; about 10 thick slices
  • Difficulty: easy
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Set up grill for indirect cooking—this could be a half and half setup  or the snake method. Either way, you want to be able to keep the heat at medium to medium low for a long time. If you use the half and half method, don’t put your hood thermometer over the coals.

3 lbs 80% lean ground chuck

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup ketchup

2 eggs

1/4-1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup celery with leaves, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

22 oz package thick-sliced bacon

  1. Mix first 11 ingredients by hand in large bowl, adding enough evaporated milk to achieve a moist mix that will hold together in a loaf shape.
  2. Weave your slices of bacon into a square or rectangular mat as long as you want the loaf to be. As you can see in posts all over the web, it helps to make this on parchment paper or plastic wrap, which will help you roll it up. I kept out about three slices of bacon, because my 3 pound loaf was large in diameter, too large for one slice of bacon to go around. I laid the extra slices lengthwise across the loaf, and then brought the woven mat up the sides and slightly over those strips. The roll was then rolled over so the extra strips and ends were on the bottom. I kept the roll wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until the grill was ready. Here is a good image of the bacon weave: https://tonymeetsmeat.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/2015-06-28-20-40-39.jpg
  3. You could place the loaf directly on the grill, but I put a narrow strip of foil under it, which worked as a lifter, making moving the loaf on and off the grill easy. It also meant I didn’t need to secure the bottom pieces and ends of the bacon with toothpicks.
  4. Grill over a drip pan (or one you improvise with foil, like I did) for about 3 hours at 250°-300° or until the internal temperature reaches 165°. Enjoy your 3 hours of doing nothing.