The girls may not have enjoyed the food, but Bobby and I were pleased with it.
1 quart buttermilk, plus 2 cups
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder, or 2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus 2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder, or cayenne pepper
2 chickens (3 to 4 pounds each), each cut up into 8 pieces
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
In a large bowl or baking dish, whisk together 1 quart of the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt, 2 teaspoons of chile de arbol powder, or hot sauce, and a little bit of pepper, if desired. Add the chicken pieces, turn to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Place the remaining 2 cups of buttermilk in a bowl. Stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika, and 2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder (or cayenne) in a large bowl. Divide flour mixture among 2 shallow platters and season generously with salt and pepper. Drain the chicken in a colander and pat it dry. Dredge the pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and pat off excess, then dip in the buttermilk and allow excess to drain off. Dredge in the second plate of flour and pat off the excess. Put the chicken pieces on a piece of waxed paper or on a clean platter while you heat the oil.
Pour about 3 inches of oil into a deep cast iron skillet; the oil should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pot. Put the pot over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, add the chicken pieces to the hot oil, 3 or 4 at a time and fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until evenly golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a rack to drain; repeat to cook the remaining pieces. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 large russet potatoes
Wash potatoes and peel. Cut into large chunks (1 1/2 - 2 inch pieces). Put in large pot of warm, salted water and bring to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, set your timer for 15 minutes. If the potatoes don't quite feel soft after 15 minutes, let it keep going for 2 or 3 more. Drain potatoes. Pour potatoes back into pot and mash with a potato masher. (Or if you have one, use a food mill like Ina does.) While you're mashing those potatoes and giving them everything you've got, add 3 or 4 Tbs of butter and a few teaspoons of salt and some generous shakes with your black pepper. Heat a small amount of milk (1/2 cup?) in your microwave. Add your milk a little at a time with a whisk and mix until you reach your desired consistency. Add more salt, pepper, butter to taste. Mmmmm......
Makes about 15
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat (French nonstick baking mat) or parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Transfer about 2 1/2 cups flour mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add butter, and pulse until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Return butter mixture to the bowl with the flour mixture. Use your fingers to combine.
- Add buttermilk, and stir just until mixture comes together; the batter will be sticky. Transfer to lightly floured work surface; use floured fingers to pat dough to 1-inch thickness. Use a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to cut biscuits as close together as possible to minimize scraps. Gather scraps together once, pat together and flatten, and cut out.
- Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet; bake until lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.