Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fried Chicken and Mac N Cheese

Feel like being a fatty tonight? Well here is the perfect combo of southern fat. Not really sure if macaroni and cheese is even southern, but I was inspired by some southern people to cook the fried chicken. Making it for the first time was pretty scary because I'm sure I have some tough competition.

This recipe has a pretty thick breading to it, but it works! It doesn't taste like your typical Church's Chicken or Bojangles, but hopefully it tastes how it is supposed to taste homemade! This was my first time ever making it and it turned out mighty fine. Hope it makes its way into your kitchen!

This recipe was taken from Smitten Kitchen (no surprise there) and is originally from Cooks Illustrated

2 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chickens, cut into 10 pieces each (breasts cut in half)
5 cups buttermilk
1 cup kosher salt
2 medium garlic heads, mashed but not peeled
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
6 cups flour

1. Mix brine ingredients in a large bowl. Place the chicken pieces in brining solution and refrigerate for two to three hours. Remove and place on rack to air-dry.
Mix batter ingredients and place in a large bowl. Place coating in large pan to coat chicken.

2.Coat chicken with flour, then place in batter. Drain excess batter off chicken and place in flour again and cover. Use tongs for transfers.

3. To fry, heat peanut oil to 375 degrees in a cast-iron skillet. Do not fill the pot more than half full with oil. Place five to six pieces of chicken, skin side down first, in the skillet and cook, covered for seven minutes. Turn chicken and cook, uncovered, for another seven minutes. Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F before frying the next batch.

4. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan, keeping warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Classic Mac and Cheese by Cooks Illustrated
Bread crumb topping:
6 slices white bread (good quality), torn into rough pieces
3 T unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
Pasta and Cheese:
1 lb elbow macaroni 
1 T table salt
5 T unsalted butter
6 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t powdered mustard
5 C milk
8 ounces Montery Jack cheese, shredded
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 t table salt
1. for the bread crumbs: pulse bread and butter in a food processor until crumbs are small
2. for the pasta and cheese: adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 T salt until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander. 
3. In a now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour and mustard and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until it deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, mixing constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheese and 1 t salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is heat through, about 6 minutes.
4. Transfer mixture to a broiler-safe 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until the crumbs are a deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve. 

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