September 22, 2017

Tarot Blog Hop: Eat Me

via Le Interwebz


For this edition of the Tarot Blog Hop, our host Kiss Boglarka has asked us to choose a card from the Tarot deck and use it to inspire our appetites. If this Tarot card were a person, what would it cook? I chose the Devil who loves nothing more than deep-frying unbaptized babies in hot oil. You might think this is blasphemous, but eating unsaved children really is quite a modest proposal.

Because I'm a Satanist, naturally I've got a full-fledged breeding operation in place to supply a young fatling for the black mass my coven observes at every dark of the Moon, but if you haven't such a supply then I suppose you could just cook chicken instead. Here's a recipe straight out of the Devil's cookbook for the best fried chicken you've probably never had:

Meat
  • 20-30 chicken wings, legs, or thighs (bone in, skin on). You can use breasts, but they're thicker than the other cuts and will have to be cooked separately to ensure adequate cooking time. If you don't want to cook this much meat, then you can halve, third, or quarter the recipe accordingly.
Marinade
  • Equal parts lemon juice and malt vinegar (4 cups each, 8 cups total)
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 1/8 cup pepper
  • 1/8 cup ground cloves
  • 2-4 bay leaves
Batter
  • 3 cups white flour. If you can't have gluten, then you can substitute the flour with 1:1 gluten-free baking flour which is easy to find at the local bulk store.
  • 3 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups white wine or apple cider
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 egg yolks (no whites)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped green onion
Garnish
  • Wash and completely dry a bunch of parsley. You may remove the stems if you so desire.

1) Prepare your meat

Combine all the ingredients for your marinade. You can store the marinade in a large pot, or you can separate it into two large zip-lock freezer bags. This recipe is enough for 20-30 wings, legs, or thighs. You can use breasts if you like, but they're thicker and can be fussy about cooking all the way through.

When you're ready, put your skin-on, bone-in chicken into the marinade. The malt vinegar in this recipe is an acid bath which starts the cooking process like lime juice in ceviche. This flavorful marinade will saturate and tenderize the meat. Leave your chicken in this acid bath for absolutely no longer than three hours, and to be honest I wouldn't dare leave it longer than two hours. If you leave your chicken in the marinade too long, the flavor will intensify to the point that the chicken becomes inedible. Leave it longer than that, and you'll get a meat slurry.

Nota bene: This acid bath won't kill the salmonella bacteria. Handle your marinade carefully to avoid contaminating your entire kitchen, and of course remember that you absolutely cannot do anything else with this marinade when you're finished cooking except pour it carefully down the drain chased by lots of soap and hot water.

2) Heat the oil

Now you need to get your oil on the stove. If you're going to deep-fry, then you absolutely must use either a Dutch oven (an enameled cast-iron pot), or a thick-walled metal pot. The reason for using such thick, heavy pots is that they retain the heat and keep an even temperature. If you use a thin-walled pot, then the temperature will fluctuate too much and you'll ruin the batter and still get raw chicken at the end.

If you're deep-frying with a Dutch oven, thick-walled metal pot, or a deep fryer, then you can use some cheap vegetable oil. Even though more expensive oils can improve the taste, the difference isn't substantial and the delicate flavor will be wasted on the savory sin of fried chicken. If you're Southern frying with a shallow cast-iron pan, then you should absolutely use lard. Believe me when I tell you that battered chicken fried in lard is something you're going to love.

Heat your oil to between 350 F and 375 F, and keep it between 300 F to 325 F while cooking. My preference for monitoring the temperature is a large candy thermometer. There are people who'll eyeball the temperature by using a wooden spoon - if it makes air bubbles when you stick it in, then it's ready - but I'm not willing to risk salmonella poisoning from half-cooked chicken on a wooden spoon.

3) Mix the batter

While your chicken is acid bathing and the oil is heating, prepare your batter: as usual, mix all the dry ingredients first and then add the wet ingredients second. You can use a wooden spoon if you like, but I prefer a metal whisk for best results. This recipe includes alcohol in the batter, and I recommend a cheap bottle of Jackson-Triggs white table wine, but any sweet table wine will do. There are two reasons to use alcohol in your batter:
  1. Alcohol is more volatile than water and when you put it into hot oil it will violently expand. This creates more surface area on your fried batter, while also resulting in a crispier and lighter bark.
  2. The fruity notes in the wine offer a sweet contrast to the sour marinade.
If for whatever reason you just don't feel like pouring half a bottle of wine into fry batter, then I recommend apple cider, but remember that without the alcohol you won't get the same crisp on your chicken bark.

Pro tip: if you don't want to waste the separated egg whites, then you can use them to cook waffles (2 cups white flour or g-free 1:1 flour, 2 cups milk, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, all the egg whites, and a splash of white wine or apple cider.) Cooking with just the egg whites will produce the fluffiest, crispiest waffles you've ever had, and the vanilla and brown sugar are so good you'll think you're eating carnival food.

4) Cook until delicious

When the oil is hot and ready, you can dip your chicken straight into the batter. Don't worry about shaking it off or letting it sit - just dip it right into the batter and then straight into the oil. Be aware that every time you drop a piece of chicken, you cause the temperature of the oil to fall. For this reason, you won't be able to cook probably more than four pieces of chicken at a time, and if you're cooking 20-30 pieces then you should get two pots of oil boiling so you're not standing at the stove for an hour. A deep-fryer can save you a lot of time.

Deep frying will take about 10 minutes to cook to golden crispy. If you're going to Southern fry with a shallow cast-iron pan, then you can probably fill the pan with as much chicken as you like. Just remember that you'll have to flip each piece after the first 5-6 minutes and cook the other side.

Pro tip: don't rest your fried chicken on a paper towel or it'll steam and get soggy. Instead, rest your chicken on a wire cooking rack laid over a baking sheet and kept warm in the oven around 150 F. This way, the chicken will get a chance to crisp and continue cooking in the oven. As an added bonus, the oil drains off the chicken without steaming and you can pour it straight off the baking sheet when it's time to clean up.

After all your chicken is cooked, you can fry the parsley. Use the freshest parsley you can find, and be sure that there's absolutely no water on it whatsoever or else you'll make a sputtering mess with your cooking oil. Drop the parsley into the oil and cook it just a couple minutes. Remove it, shake off the excess oil, and sprinkle over the chicken.

5) Hail gluttony!

Mm-mm - nothing like classic American fried chicken. Spread some butter on the waffles, lay the chicken on top, hit it with some North Carolina BBQ sauce, and then dust the whole thing with powdered sugar. Sweet baby Satan, it's so good that you'll swear you've died and gone to Hell. I cook this recipe twice a year and eat it over waffles with my friends, and the only reason I don't cook it more often is because the caloric content would kill me.

The only things missing are buttered grits, collard greens, corn on the cob, and maybe some pork links. Add a pitcher of sweet tea to wash it down plus a pecan pie for dessert and you'll have everything you need for a classically Southern family Sunday lunch. Drinking alcohol is traditionally discouraged on Sundays in the South, but that never stopped anyone from enjoying an after-lunch whiskey while relaxing in a rocking chair on the front porch. Be it ever so decadent, there's no place like home.




12 comments:

  1. Oh, man... I'm labeling this "The Devil's chicken & waffles" in my recipe binder. Will let you know how it comes out. Also, "Cook until delicious" = best instructions ever.

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    1. It doesn't have the same taste like what you've probably had from fried chicken in the past, but I promise that you're going to love it. It's got a really nice sweet-and-sour thing going on and this recipe has mostly ruined me for anybody else's fried chicken.

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  2. Well, that post was wonderfully Bullish, O Lord of Darkness---sounds like something I definitely want to try, and the photo still has me LMBFAO! Well done!

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    1. It's delicious, but unless you want the BFA in your LMBFAO to triple in size, moderation is a necessity. I swear I put on 5 pounds every time I cook this recipe and then have to spend the next month eating lentils to take it back off.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this. Who knew that preparing fried chicken was such a complex process with so many ingredients? I wonder which decks have children in the Devil card, but I'm suddenly hungry and must figure out where am I going to find a delicious lunch in this unfamiliar town.

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    1. Believe it or not, but this isn't even the most complicated recipe out there. Many people who cook fried chicken will marinade it in buttermilk for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours before cooking, then remove it from the batter to let drain over a rack for 10-15 minutes, and then dredge it in the batter before frying. Fried chicken done well has a lot in common with chemistry.

      As far as Tarot decks featuring children on the Devil card, I couldn't say, but there was a fellow who created the "Twisted Tarot Tales" deck which features an out-take card of Krampus taking away a boy and a girl who've been bad and have over-indulged on sweets. You can check it out here: http://www.tarotcollectibles.com/twisted-tarot-tales.html

      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. Fantastic recipe. I assume it works just as well for babies? :D

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    1. "Well, you know... hands and feet are really just all bones, so this recipe is best for calves and forearms. Biceps and thighs are too thick for deep frying and should be braised. Butt chops are good on the BBQ, and if there's anything at all to be had from the other cuts then it's easiest prepared in a soup." /sarcasm

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  5. Now this is an interesting recipe. I take pride in my fried chicken but this bears trying! :D

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    1. It's not what you're expecting, but it's got a really nice sweet/sour/spicy thing going on. If you cook it, let me know what you thought?

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  6. Wow! What a fascinating and devilish twist on fried chicken. Also, your wit is as usual, sharp as a good chef's knife. :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Joanne - I'll take all the compliments I can get! Nothing is more agreeable to me than flattery :P The recipe really is delicious - let me know if you ever try it?

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