Friday, January 13, 2006

My New Chicken Frying Skills

Now don't get all excited - this isn't real fried chicken, you know, the sort coated in batter and seasoning and deep deep fried. But it's still pretty good - thighs with the skin on cooked in a hot pan with just a little garlic thrown in towards the end.

I was flicking through a "Chefs' Secrets" book the other day, which featured different hints and "secrets" from about 100 chefs. It sounds ideal but most of the tips I'd already picked up along the way. Although there were one or two I considered buying the book for before deciding it clearly wasn't worth it. But this was one such tip.

Previously, when frying chicken, I'd throw the oil in the pan at the same time I turned the heat on and when the oil was hot enough, in would go the chicken pieces. However, this chef advised to heat the empty pan (though not Teflon, never never Teflon!) and once it was hot to add the oil. The scientific reasoning behind this is that apparently the metal in the pan expands to fill any microscopic gaps and then when the oil is added, the food just glides on over.

I've tried this with chicken skin off and on, fish, meat and all sorts of things and it does work a treat. I cook with a 32cm stainless steel saute pan and hardly anything sticks if I do it properly. I had a couple of these boneless thighs for lunch today with the remainder of the salad. Skin side first for 3 to 4 minutes, flip onto the other side for another 4 minutes. A handful of roughly chopped garlic's thrown in 2 minutes before cooking's over. I find that adding garlic at this point means it gets golden brown without burning.

And I know I am doing detox, I pulled the skin off, okay? But I do love the flavour it adds to the juicy chicken. It's worth the extra calories (don't tell me what the First Lady of Nutrition says about animal fat and how terrible it is, I buy good chicken and it can't be that bad!). The remainder was supposed to be for Figman's post cricket match snack. But a small child who looked disdainfully at his own dinner, ate four pieces of chicken, standing up in front of the tv. When Figs gets home from the match I'll simply tell him - like father, like son.


At 1:35 AM, Blogger nika said...

That chicken looks divine! Thanks for the cooking tip too. I will have to try it with my cast iron pan (dont have any nifty non-teflon frying pans).


At 1:19 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Yours is the best looking chicken I have seen in a long time. I got really burned out on chicken and haven't cooked with it in months. Your post got me excited again!

At 10:05 PM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Nika, thanks for visiting my site! I cook with a big 32cm steel pan but I've some found some small 20cm cast iron pans online that I'm keen to try. For when I just want to cook one or two chops and not a whole pan full!

Welcome Jennifer, and thanks for that!Yeah, sometimes chicken can get very "sameish" and I think I can't bear the sight of it for a while. But it doesn't last long with me!


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