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Feb 8, 2012

The Bon Appetit Throwdown: Round 2

Baked, broiled or fried...admit it, we all look better with a tan.

I’m pathetic, I know this…I sometimes like to call myself a chef and then I get all queasy over a chicken. The truth is raw chicken has a YUCK factor that triggers my gag reflex and I’d rather chew tinfoil than handle that pimply-looking bird. 

But hey, it’s only chicken and Bon Appetit is calling so I’m all in. June, my CA cousin offered up some chicken cuttin' advice so I was feeling pretty confident going into this.  
     The Big Guy sharpened my knife and I thought I did a pretty good job of cutting that first leg off, especailly since I had my eyes closed.  He thought otherwise because he said a bunch of stuff that sounded like, "cheesean’rice you can’t cut a chicken leg like that; look how big it is; does that look like a chicken leg to you?" 
Mine is the big leg. Looks pretty good, huh?

So when he reached for the knife I gladly forked it over. He went to work on it like his old grandma had taken over his body. I was impressed. He’s obviously been keeping this talent from me.
     When he had it in about 10 pieces I took over to clean the gross stuff off it. That didn’t work out for me. I then spent the next several minutes dry heaving into the garbage, so Big stepped in and handled that part for me too.  I did put it in a bowl and rub it down with the seasonings and then I put it to bed in the refrigerator, so it’s not like I was completely worthless. Jeez.

I bought a cast iron skillet on St. Croix and had $21 worth of peanut oil so the next evening we were ready to put the old bird in the hot tub.
     I followed the recipe exactly as written and found that I only used about half of the flour and buttermilk mixtures, which gave it a nice even tan.

My BEAUTIFULLY bronzed leg

The Lowdown on the Throwdown: 

It WAS damn good chicken! The goodness was in the crust, which was perfectly crispy and was just the right proportion of crust to meat.
     I think the overnight seasoning of it really helped to keep it moist because it was just as juicy as if I had brined it.  There was no mistaking the cayenne pepper, which personally was a bit too spicy for me, ( I'm a wimp, I admit) but The Big Guy liked the boldness of it. 
    The Best Fried Chicken EVER as Bon Appetit claims? "Almost as good as my grandma's," says Big, and he knows his chicken.

Will I make it again? I won't ever attempt to cut up a whole bird unless there is a new car or something of equal value dangled in front of me, but I will fry up some chicken again using the buttermilk/flour combo of this recipe. 
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My friend Karen, who is a great cook made this recipe too. Hers looks pretty perfect and she said her taste testers loved it. I asked her if it was better than that of the Parkman Bar, who makes dang good fried chicken, so say the chicken eaters and she said: I doubled the seasoning, especially the cayenne pepper so I thought the flavor was great, had a little bite and very juicy. So Bon Appetit wins!

There you have it. Bring on Round 3 BA!

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