You all know I grew up in the South, which means buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, pan gravy, and sweet tea are in my blood, but I'm going to admit something shocking to you today. I'll only admit it if you promise you won't stop reading forever.
You aren't crossing your fingers behind your back or anything are you?
Good, I'd miss you if you didn't stop by.
So it pains me to admit this, but I make terrible fried chicken. That's something no self-respecting Southern girl should ever have to admit, but it's true none the less. Something always manages to go wrong with my chicken. I over cook it, under cook it, the batter falls off, or isn't crispy enough. For whatever reason I just can't seem to get it right.
The good news is that I'm finally going to do something about my lack of fried chicken making skills. I managed to get my hands on a copy of Rebecca Lang's new book, Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic (courtesy of the publisher.) The first chapter in the book, aptly titled Fried Chicken 101, covers how to select the best chicken, what oils to use, the best methods for draining grease (paper towels are not it), and a whole host of other helpful tips and tricks. This chapter alone helped me pin-point some of the mistakes I've been making, so I'm already off to a great start at improving my technique.
The recipes in the book are divided up into three chapters based on cooking technique: Skillet Fried, Deep Fried, and Combination Fried and cover so much more than your typical Southern Fried Chicken. There are a whole host of recipes from around the world including Thai-Style Drumsticks with Sweet Chile Sauce (p58), Mexican Lime Fried Chicken Tacos (p77), Chinese-style Homemade Orange Chicken (p81), Latin Fried Chicken with Smokey Ketchup (p108), and West African Fried Chicken with Sautéed Onions and Peppers (p111).
What I enjoyed most were the twists on the classic fried chicken I grew up with Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken (p25) and Sorghum Pecan Skillet Chicken (p50) are at the top of the list for recipes I want to try first, and I was impressed that there was even a Gluten-Free version of the Classic Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I know I'll be trying that out with my parents at some point.
This book was everything I was hoping for and more. The photographs are mouth-watering and the recipes go well beyond the basics we all grew up with. As soon as temperatures cool off a bit I'll be diving right in to this book. It's one of the few cookbooks in my collection I know I'll be cooking my way through as time allows.
Where to Purchase
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This book was sent to me for review by Ten Speed Press through the Blogging for Books program. As always, all opinions are my own.