How to Make “The Fried Chicken”.

If you are relatively new to the kitchen, or you are a novice and the idea of Salmonella scares the shit out of you, cooking chicken in any way can be a terrifying experience.

Don’t feel bad, I was the same way. For the longest time I would overcook chicken to the point of practically jerky-ing it because:

  1. I was young and stupid and not very picky about what I ate.
  2. I figured that the longer I cooked it, there was less chance of it being undercooked.

For the record, chicken is not supposed to taste or look like shoe leather. In the grand scheme of things, chicken is a versatile and indispensable part of any kitchen because it goes with nearly anything. As such, anyone worth their salt ought to know how to prepare it in a couple of different ways.

Today, you’re going to learn how to make Fried Chicken.

Materials Needed

  • Chicken tenders You can try breasteses. Me? I prefer the chicken tenders because they are easier to work with and if you make enough of them, you have leftovers. Leftovers are good. 
  • Eggs. That’s right: eggs. The eggs act like the glue that hold the breaded deliciousness onto said chicken. The quantity depends on how much chicken you are frying. With a 5lb. bag of chicken, you can expect to use at least 3-4 eggs.
  • Breading material of your choice. People get a little freaky with this. You can use corn flakes, pork rinds, traditional breading, basically anything that can be refined to a powder can be used as breading. For this particular example (and my breading of choice) I use almond flour.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Do not fuck around with store bought almond flours. Yes, it may have certain benefits (health, taste or otherwise) but in my experience they are expensive as fuck! For this recipe I bought sliced almonds and then gave them a go-around in the food processor. Sure, it looks chunky but it’s still consider ‘almond flour’.

  • Seasoning. This is strictly all on you. You like it sweeter? Figure it the fuck out and get some sweet shit up in that. I tend to go the savory route as you will see in the following pictures.
  • Cooking implement of your choice. I have the blessing and curse of having a fryer. It certainly makes frying shit easier. You can fry on your stove top with the pot and/or pan of your choice.

ADDITIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! When I was still trying to get my sea-legs as the stay at home parent, I ventured into making fried chicken on the stove. Basically the recipe called for a pot and a fuck ton of oil that had to be at an appropriate temperature. Me being a rookie, I got the food thermometer out and tried to take the temperature of the oil that I had been heating on the stove. What I didn’t know was that dropping something metal into a heated, semi-volatile substance, will indeed, scare the living shit out of you.

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED, HEAT UP YOUR OIL!

It doesn’t matter if you’re using the stove top or a fryer like I have in this recipe. Breading the chicken is a bit tedious. The last thing that you want is to go through all of this shit AND THEN have to wait for the damn oil to warm up.

STEP 1. THAW THE CHICKEN!

STEP 1. THAW THE CHICKEN!

Again, while chicken can be a tasty component of any meal, it’s really easy to get sick from mishandling raw chicken. I recommend having the water running to ensure ease of rinsing hands. Additionally, it is not advisable to have thawed chicken sitting in it’s own juices. Why? I have no fucking clue. I just remember that from my ‘retail days’ and the occasional reiteration when I settle on watching the Food Network.

STEP 2. MAKE THE FLOUR!

 Almonds seem to be the miracle nut. You can use them as a breading, a substitute for pizza dough, if you leave them in the food processor long enough, they’ll eventually reduce to almond butter.

If you don’t have a food processor or a half way decent blender, I recommend one of the less healthier options of breading.

This is what the final product should look like. Don’t worry about the clumps. As long as it has a powder-like consistency, you’re good to go.

STEP 2-A: SEASON THE FLOUR!

Almonds on their own taste like ass. They are the healthier of the nuts in the Nut Kingdom but in terms of flavor, they are pretty lacking.

Seasoning is a personal thing. Some people prefer smoke, others prefer fire. Myself, I like to fall somewhere in between.

IMG_3283DON’T FORGET TO MIX THAT SHIT UP!

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This is what the final product should look like. 

STEP 3: BEAT THE FUCK OUT OF THE EGGS!

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While it does seem a bit cruel and sadistic to use chicken embryos like glue on chicken corpses, there isn’t a better thing out there for what we are trying to accomplish. Make the above picture, look like the below picture. 

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My tool of choice is the fork. I just don’t have the coordination to whisk anything. Should you use the fork as well, make sure you get enough lift in your eggs. That means, hold the bowl at a slight angle over your sink so that everything pools to one side and then stir like a motherfucker. 

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE ASSEMBLY LINE!

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This is what I do. You may want to play with this to find out what work for you. Should you be using a fryer, put something underneath the son of a bitch as the breading will find a way to fall through the holes during the journey from the assembly line to the fryer. 

STEP 5: START BREADING!

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TAKE THE CHICKEN!

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DROWN THE MOTHERFUCKER! (BE SURE TO GET BOTH SIDES!)

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DROP IT IN THE SEASONED BREADING!

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HIDE IT IN THE BREADING WITHOUT LOSING IT!

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NOW, PUT IT IN THE BASKET! OR WHATEVER!

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LATHER, RINSE, AND REPEAT UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF CHICKEN!

See? Simple yet tedious. 

STEP 6: START FRYIN’!

Did you read the thing about the oil at the top of the page? Sure fucking hope so. Doing all of that work and then having to wait is a buzzkill.

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When I cook, I generally don’t use a timer. I go by sight, smell, and texture. If you’re just starting out, don’t be a goddamn hero: use the timer until you get good enough to eyeball whatever the fuck it is that you are cooking.

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When it comes to the almond-flour-ed chicken, you want a light change in color. Yep, you want to see it go from brown, to light brown. Dark brown is ok too. Not everybody has the palette for that though. It’s not that it tastes horrible. People prefer to not have burnt nuts in their mouth.

STEP 7: FINISH HIM!

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TA DA! It’s a meal. Chicken, not just fried chicken is simple to make as long as you know what you are going to do with it.

Got a preferred method of chicken making? Let’s hear about it in the comments!

A brief word on food.

One of the cornerstones of our society is the necessity of food. While our bodies can survive for nearly three weeks without it (Gandhi, yep the “Be the change you wish to see in the world guy”, also known as Sir Ben Kingsley to others…. survived 21 days of complete starvation. Obviously he had water or else he would have been dead inside of 5 days) one would think that it would be common sense for an individual to have a working knowledge of food preparation (e.g. you know the difference between your ass and a hole in the ground when you step foot in the kitchen).

Sadly, most people cannot make the aforementioned distinction. 

If you marked my progress in the kitchen from when I first started out as a stay at home parent, to now, it would be a thick, black line that traveled through smoke (the smoke being whatever the fuck it was that I was cremating in the oven), traversed canyons of boxed dinners (mac ‘n’ cheese was not only friend to my family but also really friggin’ versatile: seriously google it. People have taken that staple a real long way) and is currently supporting someone who cannot only improvise on the fly, but also follow some pretty complicated recipes.

Cooking is not scary. It is following directions. That’s all that it is. 

If you’re not completely sold on the idea that you should be working on being considered a wizard in the kitchen, cooking is also SCIENCE. And I would be remiss if I did not point out that (even if you aren’t a dad, husband, whatever) chicks dig a guy who knows his way around the kitchen.

Currently, I have a very modest collection of recipes here. Unless otherwise noted, most of them ARE NOT MINE. 

If they are not mine, I will obviously say so. I will link to the origin site, the original recipe or (if it’s something out of a book, for instance) I will link to the Amazon page featuring the book (if there isn’t any other stones for me to turn over).

While a lot of people would consider this a “hack” thing to do, I would also like to point out that they are missing the obvious: IF  A RECIPE IS ON HERE, IT’S BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL RECIPE DIDN’T HAVE ANY FUCKING PICTURES. 

My main goal in making recipes a part of this site is to educate people (men, specifically) that they should be cooking more instead of relying on simpleton shit like fast food or boxed dinners or any other garbage. The sad truth is that Men are less likely to get their asses in the kitchen if there aren’t any pictures. 

It is my hope that in posting the steps, with the pictures, and the general amount of time it took me to work through the recipe, that some of the sting will be taken out of learning how to cook.

Additionally, if people have a general problem with what I’m doing (be it the creator of the recipe or people in general), I warmly invite them to shut up: if you didn’t want people giving you free publicity about something you created, you shouldn’t have put it on the internet in the first place.

Sometimes you just need to use the food that you’ve been avoiding. 

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I know that in the past, I have talked high and mighty about the need for prepared meals in the life of any given family. Meals shouldn’t come out of a box or a bag (specifically tv dinners or anything with the word ‘helper’ after it).

The day will come, Dear Reader, when you can give no fucks about preparing food. You could be short on time.  You could have had a bad day (or week). The people you are preparing said food for could be a real bunch of assholes about what you have made in the past. You could just simply be out of steam.

The point is, is that it’s ok, to reach for that which you have been avoiding with respect to the menu your personal kitchen produces (as long as you make it your own). 

On occasion, I will do this quite simply because I can. Preparing meals is really difficult when you are doing so with the intent of people actually eating the food you put in front of them instead of just moving it around on their plate or whining about any given facet of the meal. In short, it’s a nice little break you can give yourself. Me? I try to do it at least once a week.

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My answer to the dilemma of ‘making it my own’ is to throw in so many goddamn vegetables that not only am I changing the very nature of whatever package I’m working with, but also I’m ensuring that leftovers will result.

Leftovers are good. They are your friend. They will be there when you don’t know what to make those ingrates for lunch. 

I digress.

The trick with veg-ifying Ramen, is to leave everything in the pot for as long as possible. In doing so, the noodles, veg, and whatever else you may want to throw (Chicken or shrimp works in this instance. Personally I throw the chicken in the bowl prior to serving. Throw it in the pot and it’s liable to disintergrate on you) in their sucks up the boullioned water thereby ensuring maximum flavor output.

IMG_2953 TA DA! It’s a ‘healthier’ take on ramen. 

A word to the wise: Ramen leftovers are shit after a day. If you’re not having it for breakfast or lunch, don’t bother.

Don’t want to fuck with Ramen? I can’t blame you. You can achieve the same goal with that ‘american classic’, macaroni and cheese. 

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Mac & Cheese is a versatile staple. You can throw anything in it and it will come out ok. Hot dogs, tuna and peas, bacon & broccoli: whatever you want. You’re the one eating it.

On a personal note, through a lot of trial and error (because I live with some picky sons of bitches) I have landed on a solid combination.

IMG_3167Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (with corn & mixed peppers), a side of broccoli, and chicken. 

This combo produces empty plates, consistently, in record time.

In closing, preparing food is great because you are keeping the best interests of your family in mind, but sometimes you just need to take a goddamn break.

Have a cheater meal that is your go to? Don’t be shy: share it in the comments, mang! 

How to turn “taco night” into “taco week” while being a sneaky son of a bitch!

IMG_3008I like tacos. You like Tacos. We all like tacos. The only problem with the tacos is that they never last long enough. People are either just too into the taco or else you didn’t buy enough of the things that make tacos great.

Today I’m going to show you how to make the ingredient that makes the taco (the meat) last all week. As an added bonus, you’re going to learn how to properly season your meat.

Ingredients

  1. Taco receptacle of your choosing. (Whatever you want to use in order to get the deliciousness from your plate to your face. Old El Paso has a metric-fuckton of kits in your local super market. Word to the wise? Kids are clumsy as fuck. Mine still have a hard time tilting their head in order to take a bit out of a taco shell. As such, I like to alternate between the stand and stuff tortillas and taco salads. With the salads, I just break up the taco shell and throw all of the fixings in a bowl).
  2. Ground meat. Want to use turkey? Knock yourself out!
  3. Mushrooms (aka THE SECRET FUCKING INGREDIENT).
  4. Seasonings
    1. chili powder
    2. red pepper flakes
    3. garlic powder
    4. onion powder
    5. salt
    6. pepper
    7. cumin
    8. oregano
  5. Taco fixings. (Whatever the hell you want: sour cheese, lettuce, taco cheese, salsa… It’s your damn fiesta: LET ‘ER RIP, NEPHEW!).

Before you do anything else, take another look at the picture at the top of this post and then come back. That white, plunger looking thing is CRUCIAL to the expansion of your precious taco meat. It’s made by Oxo and I have no idea what the proper name for it is.

In the event that it is discontinued or your retailer of your choosing doesn’t carry anything remotely like it, THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER WAYS TO BEEF UP YOUR TACO. You don’t need to use mushrooms. You could use peppers, onion, and more importantly MORE MEAT. If you are opting out of the mushrooms, skip ahead to the “Seasoning your meat” part of this recipe. 

Deploy the mushrooms. 

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Once upon a time, I brought up my taco-quandary to my beloved and she hipped me to the idea that mushrooms, when prepared properly are nearly indistinguishable when they are cooked with ground meat. Got some fuckheaded kid in your house that won’t eat the vegetables or else won’t fuck with more mushrooms? THIS’LL FIX THEIR LITTLE RED WAGON!

What you see above are the pre-sliced mushrooms. Typically, these cost a little more. It should be noted that I am a cheap son of a bitch and if I have pre-sliced mushrooms in my fridge, I got them on sale. Don’t want to fork over the extra wapum for the sliced fungi? I don’t blame you.

Prior to the insertion of mushrooms into your chopper, THEY DO NEED TO BE SLICED. It just makes it easier. You can throw them in whole, what the fuck do I care? It’s your kitchen.

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                                      After you’re done processing the mushrooms, they’ll look like this.

If you take off your glasses and squint really fucking hard, this totally looks like ground beef.

Seasoning your meat

Depending on your choice of meat (ground beef, turkey, small child) there is absolutely no reason for you to be compelled to “drain your meat”. However you are preparing it, that shit will cook off. Just leave your meat in the pan until it does.

Mushrooms have a lot of water in them. When you add them to your meat, you should expect to see that water brought out by the heat. Don’t freak: it will cook off.

When you cook the meat, it should go without saying that you need to break that shit up. However, people are stupid. So I have to say it: break up the meat when you throw it in your heated pan.

When it comes to cooking the ground meats, I don’t stick with one particular setting of flame.

If I have a lot of other things to do in the kitchen, I keep the flame to medium, or low. If I’m in a hurry, I leave that shit on high.

KEEP IN MIND if you are cooking on high heat, you can’t get distracted. If you do, your meal is fucked.

Right about now, your meat has had a minute to start sizzling in the pan. Here’s where your spidey-senses need to kick in. Once things are cooking, but not completely cooked, that’s when you add the mushrooms. After you throw those bad boys in there, stir them up with the meat to get everything nice and coagulated.

Season your shit once the mushrooms start putting off moisture.

As I am sure that I have mentioned before, I don’t measure seasonings. I just don’t have time for that shit. You want to measure your seasoning? Feel free. Nerd. 

I season to taste. What this typically breaks down to in the realm of the taco is that I go down the line of seasonings and I shake that shit on the taco meat as it cooks in the pan. What you want to do is not dump a stupid amount of whatever in there. Just add enough to change the color of the meat. Then mix that shit up and give it a minute.

After you give the taco goodies an appropriate amount of time to take on the seasonings that you added to it, get a spoon and help yourself to a sample. Taste ok to you? Fuck it: you’re done. Taste a little light on a certain seasoning? Fix it up how you want it.

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This is what you should get when you’re all done. No, I’m not showing you what a taco looks like jam-packed with all of this goodness. What you see here will last my family a week.

Want yours to last longer? Add more of whatever you want. More meat? Why the fuck not? Can’t get enough of the ‘shrooms? Add some more.

You’re the one doing all of the work: Add whatever-the-fuck you want.

Behold! The Sandwich!!

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Hat tip to Jug O’Wine for the photo bomb.

As the man of the house, and as the person in charge of what goes on in the house, including what the meals are composed of, it’s perfectly ok to make sandwiches for dinner. As long as they are totally kick ass sandwiches. Take a look at the picture above. I pulled all of that shit out of my food stores on a whim (because I didn’t have a dinner plan) and I turned that into dinner. 

Why?

BECAUSE. That’s why.

What you make your sandwich out of is up to you. The only real requirement is that there is some tasty shit in between the two slices of bread that make the sandwich, a sandwich.

Follow me as I walk you through how I turned all of that goodness above, into a tasty dish.

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  1. Get a pan. Put the pan over the source of flame that you normally use. Since we have a lot of stuff that is going into the pan, a bic lighter WILL NOT DO. Give the pan a minute to get warm. (TRADE SECRET: I have found that touching the inside of the pan while it is ‘warming up’ is a bad idea. Touch the handle instead. If the handle is warm, you are good to go.
  2. When the pan is warm enough throw in your food lubricant of choice. For the sandwiches I made, I used butter. Yes,  butter. This isn’t a “health food” blog, you stupid freshman.
  3. As the butter melts, start chopping up the veg, if you have any. I should hope you have some. If you’re my age, and you aren’t eating your vegetables, your colon will fill up with rubble and cobwebs.
  4. When the butter, is fully melted, move on to the next step. (TRADE SECRET: if you are using cooking oil, the cooking oil is ready to receive whatever it is that you are going to sautee when is looks super shiny and shimmer-y. For reals).
  5. Throw shit in the pan. If you are making anything with onions, make sure that you coat them in the food lubricant of choice.

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The trick with sautéing onions is to find the sweet spot. You don’t want to leave them in the pan and forget about them (because you’ll burn the shit out of them) and you don’t want to be premature. Generally, the onion’s onion-y goodness is at it’s maximum when they’re wiggly and kind of transparent.

  1. While you’re waiting for the sweet spot of the onions to ‘come to dinner’, work on the other veg you want to sauté. In this case I used sun dried tomatoes because my wife loves that shit. For real: I think she loves sun dried tomatoes more than she loves her own family.
  2. At any rate, if you use said tomatoes, you need to cut that shit up as fine as you can get it: they’re chewy as fuck. Because, you know, fuck is pretty chewy. 
  3. After you get the other veg ready, it’s time to move on to seasoning. Why seasoning? Because you have a cabinet full of spices and seasonings. LET IT RIP SON (OR DAUGHTER)!
  1. IMG_3199I generally like to start with any dry ingredients first. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, that’s just how I roll. If you’re pussyfooting about spice combos or using too much of anything, McCormick has come out with their “perfect pinch” spice series. Pick some of that shit up if you aren’t feeling creative.
  2. Toss your dry stuff in there. No, No I don’t “measure”. Know why? Because I got cooking chops like you got worry.

I have generally found that when adding spice to anything, if you lightly cover the thing that you are adding spice to, mix it up, and then taste, you’re golden because only you know what you like to taste.

VINEGAR = TANG

VINEGAR = TANG

  1. When you add your dry awesomeness, give it a minute to work it’s magic on whatever it is that you have got going on in the pan. There’s no real time limit, just do something else and then come back to it.
  2. For this recipe, I broke out the Balsamic Vinegar. Why? Why the hell not! That’s why. With this shit, you have to be careful: less is definitely more. Just a splash or two and then move on.
  3. Get everything all mixed up and cooking. You’re kitchen should be smelling pretty tits by now.
  4. Go get the other veg and throw that shit in there. Stir it up real good and then move on to the next part: SANDWICH ASSEMBLY.
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This is what everything looks like all mixed up.

A quick word about sun dried tomatoes: if you don’t like the chewiness, give ’em a little soak to soften them up. In this case, I wanted to extra wetness of the butter and vinegar to do just that. Never eat a chewy sandwich.

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  1. Generally speaking, the assembly of the sandwich components is what makes the sandwich. For the sake of this “recipe” I wanted a good base to put the pan ingredients on. So: bread, cheese meat.

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Now, the pan goods. TASTINESS ABOUNDS!

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  1. Put on another slice of cheese for consistency and then the other slice of bread. You are not done yet. 
  2. When you are making a tasty fucking sandwich, the bread needs to be toasted. Doubly so, if you have goodies in the middle. If you don’t toast the bread, your shit is going to end up in your lap instead of your face-hole. 

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  1. Depending on what you have at your disposal, your bread is going to need some food lubricant of some sort. You could move forward without it, but your bread is gonna be really fucking dry.
  2. For the sake of this post I broke out the $20 panini my mother-in-law got us a billion years ago, because toast lines on a sandwich is like a delicious fucking bread tattoo. 
  3. That thing in my hand that I am using to coat the bread with food lubricant was a Target purchase if I am not mistaken. Get one for your household. Hell of a lot cheaper than buying food spray.

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  1. After the bread is good and coated cook that shit. If you’re using a panini, the sandwich is done when the cheese is gooey. 

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BAM! Dinner is served. Pickles are mandatory. If there ain’t any pickles, it’s not a fucking sandwich. 

Got a sandwich story you want to share? How ’bout some suggestions? Let’s hear it in the comments at the top of this post!