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Friday, February 17, 2012

“Coffee Shop Favorites, Pt. XV: ‘Southern Deep-Fried Chicken—one of the Best Recipes Ever for Fried Chicken’ by Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara”



Today, we begin presenting another of the Los Angeles bands for your listening pleasure—the DOORS.  They have always been among the top bands of the psychedelic era thanks to the presence and voice of Jim Morrison and their sound.  They were unique in their style and are still as good today as they were then.  We are very proud to present them!  Their FIRST album—“The Doors”—was released on January 04, 1967 and is one of the all-time classic rock albums. [Unfortunately, the link may no longer be possible due to the fact that the Amazon.com Associates’ Program’s status is up in the air due to the fact that our home base is in California—you can still go there and BUY it!] Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.





                                                                          


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 309 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!



                                                                                      


STINKBUG 2012


                                                                                   





Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara

END Commentary 02-18-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 2,297.



CULINARY POLITICS



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Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Saturday, February 18, 2012 by Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara

COFFEE SHOP FAVORITES, PT. XV

Coffee Shop Favorites, Pt. XV: ‘Southern Deep-Fried Chicken—one of the Best Recipes Ever for Fried Chicken’ by Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara



Bakersfield, CA, 02-18-2012 S: I have a great dish for you today, one that I know you’re going to love: deep-fried chicken.  Everyone has their own recipe for this classic dish, many times learned from their mothers or grandmothers, recipes passed down for many generations.  Fried chicken can be made in a variety of ways: in the deep-fat fryer, on the stove in a skillet, or in a pressure cooker.  It can be breaded, battered, or a combination thereof and even if one lacks the skills via Shake-and-Bake in one’s oven.  The recipe that I have, I learned from my grandmother and have updated it a bit utilizing many of the ingredients we have available to us nowadays such as better spices, better shortening, and maybe even better chickens.  Back in the day, my grandparents and great-grandparents had poultry in their backyards and making dinner was more involved because one had to go out back, grab a chicken out of the flock, take his head off on the old hickory stump, and then boil the feathers off.  But the quality of the flavor of the meat was unsurpassed, it was a gift from the Gods so-to-speak, and I learned to love it after I got over the process of whacking the bird.  My grandfather grasped me by my six-year-old wrist and took me out back, determined that I knew where dinner came from.  I had to stand there, tears rolling down my cheeks, and watch as he grabbed one of my beloved hens from among the pack by the neck.  He gave it a swift snap and broke the bird’s neck to put it out of its misery before applying the axe to it to remove head and feet.  The first few times, I stood there bawling my eyes out but then when I was taken through the process of how dinner was put before me on the table, I came to realize that this was part of the cycle of life.  That is why when I got older, I apprenticed myself underneath a local chef who in those days butchered his own meat.  I learned from a master, a man who knew every cut of meat there was and in so learning, became a chef myself.  Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for instilling in me the culinary talents I possess today! Thank you Chef for having trained me so well!

  We will utilize a deep-fat fryer for cooking our bird and the most important thing one has to always remember handling poultry is that it must always be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165°F and NO LESS!  Salmonella is a very real foodborne illness threat and it’s important that every piece of poultry show absolutely NO red within its body once it’s cooked; don’t fall for the propaganda put out by the poultry industry that “chickens are safer to eat nowadays” which is an out-and-out lie: salmonella is more prevalent than ever and for the old and young, can be quite deadly.  I have had the misfortune of having contracted it at least THREE times over the course of my life and always put a magnifying glass to every piece of chicken I put in my mouth.  Sure, that may be an exaggeration but the thing to remember is to ALWAYS make sure your poultry is cooked and you’ll never have any problems. Let’s do it:

(#1304) DEEP-FRIED CHICKEN





Yield:  4 servings / Mis-en-place: :




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
2
3.5-4 #
Frying hens, cut into serving pieces (thighs, breasts, drums, & wings)
1
Whole
Lemon, halved

1.5-2
Quarts
All-purpose flour

4
Each
Large AAA eggs

1
Quart
Whole milk

.125
Cup
Dried parsley flakes

1
Tablespoon
Whole Italian herbs

1
Tablespoon
Lawrey’s seasoned salt

1.5
Teaspoons
Lawrey’s seasoned pepper

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated garlic

1.5
Teaspoons
Granulated onion

1
Teaspoon
Poultry seasoning

1.5
Quarts
Nabisco cracker meal

5-6
#
Crisco shortening (for deep-fat frying)

Fresh sprigs of parsley
Rinsed



Method:

1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work!  Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken into serving pieces by cutting the joints between the wings and breasts and between thighs and drums.  You don’t have to remove the backs (this would be the very first cut) unless you care to.  As for the kidneys, liver, giblets, and necks, combine with them with vegetable scraps (celery, carrots, onions, and leeks) in a saucepot and bring to a boil and once there, drop to a low simmer for sauce-making.

2.      Wash the chicken pieces, being sure to rinse off all blood.  Rub the chicken parts with the whole lemon inside and out so that the birds’ parts smell clean and fresh.  Meanwhile, beat the eggs until light and foamy using an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment and then add the milk and blend well.  Force this mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a sanitized bowl and then pour it back into the mixer.  There, add the spices and herbs and blend well.  Set aside.  The purpose of straining the egg wash is (1) to remove ALL egg shells and (2) to homogenize the mixture so that there’s NO possibility of blobs of albumin (egg whites) messing up your mixture. 

3.      Place the all-purpose flour in front of you in a large pan.  Then, dust each chicken part, one-by-one, shaking off the excess when they come out; transfer the poultry to a sheet pan and have ready.  Continue doing this until every part has been dusted.  Then, dip each one into the eggwash mixture allowing the excess to run off and then place in the flour once more.  Now, before the following step, blend the leftover all-purpose flour with the cracker meal; stir well to combine.  Then, press each egg-dipped piece into the flour, pressing well so that it adheres.  As you do each part, transfer it BACK to the sheet pan.

4.      Preheat your deep-fat fryer now to 350°F and your standard oven to 375°F or your convection oven to 325°F—fan in the “on” position—and have ready.  Continue breading all of the chicken parts until all are done and then place the pan inside your freezer for 10-20 minutes for the breading to become one with the chicken. 

5.      When it’s time to fry your chickens, bring the parts out of the icebox and place on the counter before you.  Begin frying the THIGHS and DRUMS first as they generally take the most time and therefore need longer cooking times than do the breasts and wings.  Drop the parts into your deep-fat fryer taking care not to overload it or to cause it to boil over.  Should you have an accident and the oil DOES overflow the kettle, STEP BACK!  Quickly pull the plug from the socket and place towels atop the grease.  Never try to grab a HOT fryer as this could lead to terrible THIRD DEGREE burns.  Always exercise caution and THINK about what it is you’re doing.

6.      As the parts emerge from the oil, transfer them to the sheet pan that you’ve since cleaned and lined with wax paper sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray.  Place them inside your preheated oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until a quick-temp thermometer reads 165°F when inserted into the thickest area: this is DONE for chicken, turkey, or any other type of poultry and must be attained!  Should the meat appear as if it’s going to darken too much inside your oven, be sure to cover it with a piece of aluminum foil that you’ve sprayed with PAM. 

7.      While the chicken is cooking, make the Chicken Gravy now.  This isn’t a big sauce-making event, just a gravy so be quick about it.  Follow the recipe that succeeds this one below and continue.  

8.      When all are done, transfer to the sheet pan and bake them until the temperature reads 165°F.  Higher is much better than lower so monitor your chicken as it cooks: you want it crispy-cooked but NOT raw!  Always double-check poultry by slicing a corner of it with a sharp knife and observing as to whether or not blood flows forth—NEVER serve bloody poultry: you could cause the potentially fatal virus, salmonella!

9.      When the meat’s done, bring forth from the oven and place in front of you.  Double-check the internal temperature by testing a final time because salmonella foodborne illness is something that is absolutely NO joke; check for that magical 165°F temperature as that is your gateway to guilt-free success!

10. To serve, each person should receive HALF-a-chicken on their plates: thigh, breast, drum, and wing.  Place four portions on each of four plates.  The traditional accompaniments for Deep-Fried Chicken are (1) mashed potatoes with gravy; (2) mashed sweet potatoes; (3) green beans with bacon and onions; (4) collard greens; (5) dirty rice; and (6) cornbread.  Mix and match according to your family’s/guests’ desires and add to the plates.  Place a sprig of fresh parsley alongside each.

Here’s the formula for making Chicken Gravy:

(#1087) CHICKEN GRAVY





Yield: about ONE quart / Mis-en-place: about 30 minutes:




Qty.
Measure
Item
Other
.5
Cup
Vegetable oil

.5
Cup
All-purpose flour

.5
Teaspoon
White pepper

.5
Teaspoon
Kosher salt

.25
Teaspoon
Whole thyme

3
Cups
Chicken stock
Hot



Method:

1.      In a heavy-duty saucepot sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray, combine the oil and flour over a medium-flame to form a roux. Cook for several minutes, stirring almost constantly.  Add the seasonings.

2.      Next, pour in the chicken stock gradually whisking all the while until incorporated.  Raise the temperature and continue stirring as it comes to a bubble and forms into a medium-consistency sauce. Then, lower heat and keep warm.

This is basic chicken gravy, one for use in simple dishes such as coffee shop veal cutlets and the such.  It’s always good to have a few simple sauces that can be whipped up and kept on hand for use in special dishes or quick recipes.  You’ll find many uses for this so keep it handy!

So, there’s your recipe for making Deep-Fried Chicken, breaded, not battered.  It is a tasty dish that has always been among America’s most-favored dishes and you can be a master of making it.  Always recycle the grease at a station that accepts things such as cooking and motor oil and never dispose of it by dumping it out in the backyard.  Always boil out your fryers when you’re done using them with soapy water and lemon halves as this will keep them smelling clean and will keep your home or kitchen aromatic and fragrant, not smelling like fried foods.

---------------------------------------------

As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

I love deep-fried chicken—it’s always been among my most passionate comfort foods, especially when it’s done in a pressure cooker.  Most restaurants no longer have such a device unless, of course, they specialize in deep-fried foods because of their danger potential.  Modern ones are pretty safe but in the old days, they could belch hot grease out onto the wall that if it hit one of the cooks, kitchen personnel, or servers, could have been fatal.  But they could fry chicken in 6-8 minutes and instill in the meat a flavor that couldn’t be beat.  Cleaning the damn things was laborious, time-consuming, and disgusting but the quality of the food more than made up for their liabilities.  People from miles around would patronize restaurants that employed the equipment.  If you have a pressure cooker at home, you know precisely what I’m talking about and if you do have one, use it, being sure to follow its directions explicitly!   Anyhow, please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the DOORS and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Goldfish

Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara

Cook IV Institutional Chef, CWC, ACF Chefs’ Association of the San Joaquin Valley CA123


This is me back in 1977 when I was working at the Hilton Inn in Bakersfield, CA, on Rosedale Highway. In the 1980’s, it was the Red Lion Inn but back then, I was the night sous chef and ran the cook's line at the age of 24. I’ve had the privilege of having worked in states such as Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere in California but have always returned to Bakersfield.  Currently, I am at one of the five country clubs.

---30---

END Commentary for Saturday, February 18, 2012 by Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara.



Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.

REFERENCES:

This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara.



Recipe created by Chef Goldie “Goldfish” McNamara on July 14, 1977 in Bakersfield, CA.

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