Tag Archives: paprika

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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Hot Dog Sauce Redux

Two years ago, I posted a recipe probably given to me by my sister-in-law for hot dog sauce, supposedly similar to that at a Greenville, PA bar and grill. We’ve had the original many times, including recently, and thought this recipe was pretty close, at least in basic ingredients. But if you look at the post comments, you’ll see two recent comments from former Greenville residents that suggest one significant problem with my sauce, a problem I agree with—too much cloves. One generous informant, Mr. McDonald, even provided a recipe from one of his former Greenville neighbors “of the original Majestic restaurant.” Here’s the recipe I have been using, followed by the better one:

I decided to make the better recipe in a slow cooker, instead of hovering around a pot on the stove, and that turned out to be a good choice, although the beef didn’t break down like I thought it might, even after 8 hours, so I pulsed it in a blender for a few seconds for a much better texture. Both cooking methods are below.

Greenville Hot Dog Sauce

  • Servings: makes about 8-10 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 2 “handfuls chopped onion” (I used 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg (Mr. McDonald used 2 teaspoons; I used the tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons paprika (I only had smoked paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 14 oz bottle ketchup
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I added 2 more at the end)
  • 1 cup flour (Mr. McDonald says “3/4 c. seems enough”; I used the full cup in the slow cooker)
Preparation

On stove:

  1. Brown beef, drain, and set aside, reserving about 3 tablespoons fat in pot.
  2. Sweat onions in the reserved fat until translucent.
  3. Return beef to pot with spices and ketchup.
  4. Beat together water, salt, and flour until all the flour is combined. Add to sauce mixture. “Simmer 2 hours. The sauce will thicken and the beef will break down. The beef is supposed to be in small particles, like Cincinnati chili. If you simmer the sauce uncovered then the water evaporates down,” if needed.

In slow cooker:

  1. Brown beef in large skillet, drain, and place in slow cooker. Reserve about 3 tablespoons fat in skillet.
  2. Sweat onions in the reserved fat until translucent, then transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add spices and ketchup to slow cooker.
  4. Beat together water, salt, and flour until all the flour is combined. Add to slow cooker, stirring until all is combined.
  5. Cook at HIGH for 4 hours. Stir, then set at LOW for another 3-4 hours. You shouldn’t have any sticking, unless you have an older cooker with the heating element on the bottom, in which case you might want to use an all-day LOW setting.
  6. If the texture of the ground beef is still chunky at the end of the cooking (like mine was) you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender or food processor to make it more finely textured, which is best for a hot dog sauce. Just don’t turn it into a paste!

*About the amount of flour in the sauce. One cup of flour has 16 tablespoons, enough to thicken 8 cups of liquid to a medium sauce, like white sauce or cheese sauce. Combined here with 6 cups of water, you can see why the first cooking method on the stovetop suggests using less. In the slow cooker, however, there is little to no evaporation and the sauce is not too thick. That said, you have to decide how thick you want the final sauce. We like a kind of loose sauce with fine textured meat, and thought this one was just right

Is a Ham Pattie Just a Ham-Burger?

There are disputes about whether the singular of patties is patty or pattie. I’m making a stand for the -ie version, for no good reason.

I baked a boneless half ham in the grill Monday in my cast iron Dutch oven, and that leaves at least two days of what to do with leftovers. Tuesday, some of it became the ham patties shown here, and Wednesday, the last bit goes into a ham and rice casserole.

To make the patties, I halved the spice amounts from my ham loaf recipe and used egg and seasoned bread crumbs to hold it all together. Still, these ham patties are not as dense as a ham loaf, mostly because of the absence of the ground pork that holds the cooked ham together. Trying to keep cooked meat together into any shape is never easy. Shaping, coating, and turning the patties in a pan are delicate processes, sort of like those fish cakes I made a few weeks ago. But it can be done, and it’s a nice change of pace for leftover ham. They can be eaten with or without a bun, but I think the bun invites dressing it up with slaw or grilled vegetables or ranch dressing. My husband is choosing not to eat them with buns, while I’m going to use a soft ciabatta roll and grilled portobello caps marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make mine more of a burger.

Ham Patties

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Set up grill for direct heat.

1 pound cooked ham, ground in food processor or meat grinder

1/2 small onion, grated

1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (fresh breadcrumbs would add more moisture)

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon each curry powder, fresh grated ginger, ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon each paprika, nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper

1/4 cup milk or more to achieve moist consistency that holds together

1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs for dusting

olive oil for frying

  1. Mix all ingredients together as you would for meatloaf.
  2. Divide into fourths, shaping each into a pattie. Refrigeration for at least a half hour can help hold the mixture together, but is not necessary.
  3. Dust both sides of each pattie carefully as you hold it in your hand. Pat the crumbs on lightly. You just want a little barrier between the patties and the hot skillet.
  4. Place skillet over direct heat on grill, adding about 2 tablespoons oil before the pan gets too hot. You don’t have the same control on a grill as you have on the stove, and your pan can get very hot quickly. As soon as the oil begins to heat, place the patties in the pan.
  5. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, until browned. I used two spatulas to turn them, so they wouldn’t break up. My second side browned better than the first, because I was impatient.

If you’re grilling some vegetables, do those first, removing them to indirect heat while you cook the meat.

For my mushroom caps, I used 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and 1 teaspoon salt, marinating them in a zippered bag for about 1/2 hour.

 

 

Spicy-Sweet Ham Loaf

The spices really make this meatloaf—don’t skip them.

I have lots of recipes handwritten on slips of paper. Today, I would just be bookmarking them on a device. I remember where some of them came from, but not all. I used to watch the cooking shows on the local PBS station, most memorably, Nathalie Dupree’s New Southern Cooking, Marcia Adams’ Amish Cooking from Quilt Country and Heartland Cooking, and Julia Child’s The French Chef, Cooking with Master Chefs and bits and pieces of most of her other series when available. This was long before the 24/7 availability of cooking channels but most of them were available when there were VCRs. I used to tape the shows as I watched them, so I could go back and write down recipes, stopping the tape to let my writing catch up. I suppose some other recipes could have been copied from the so-called women’s magazines. What can I say? I have a long interest in home cooking. It’s too bad more people have not learned how to cook and are left to rely on pre-packaged food or eating in fast food restaurants all the time. Cooking from scratch can be much more economical.

I’m not sure where this great recipe came from. It sounds like something Marcia Adams would have created, but it’s definitely not her upside down ham loaf that is all over the web. I generally did not elaborate on instructions, which mostly works out, but sometimes it leaves me scratching my head and improvising.

recipe

I only made one  addition and one change to the recipe. The only ground pork I could find was reduced fat—fat is the whole reason you use pork!—so I added 1 tablespoon of bacon fat that I had waiting in the fridge for just such an occasion. The other change had to do with that oddly inserted line, 2 T lemon. Lemon what? Juice? Zest? Both seem like odd additions, and the line looks like it was squeezed in. Well, I didn’t have any lemons, but I have a jar of dried Valencia orange peel, so I added 1/2 teaspoon of that. I don’t know if it made a difference, but it didn’t hurt.

Spicy-Sweet Ham Loaf

  • Servings: about 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground cooked ham
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (I used soft crumbs from fresh whole wheat bread)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel or fresh citrus zest from one orange or lemon (adjusted from mystery ingredient in original recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon bacon fat or lard if your meats are too lean
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (not in original recipe)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (not in original recipe)

Preparation

Mix all ingredients and shape into loaf in large baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for about one hour or until center registers about 160°. Baste with sauce (below) for the last half hour. Remove from oven to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Basting Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Bring all to boil in small saucepan. It is  not a thick glaze, but it does glaze the loaf with frequent basting, plus some of it soaks in at the bottom. Pour over enough to cover the loaf after the first half hour of baking, then baste the loaf every 10 minutes thereafter, using up the rest of the mixture. You might go over the baking time with opening the door so often. This sauce makes a splattered mess of your baking dish, but it washes right off in the dishwasher.