Used to be that when I was super tired after a very long day of dyeing yarn working on multiple deadlines, we’d just go out to eat for dinner.
Those were the days.
When you live 40 minutes from “civilization” (meaning the closest place to buy anything to eat that I don’t have to cook), you cook dinner anyway, regardless of exhaustion levels.
I don’t always do the shopping – Dad ends up going to town more often than I do – which means I often figure out what to eat based on surprise ingredients.
And it’s tricky to keep a dinner balanced if you’ve run out of vegetables, although I’m trying to keep a stock of emergency vegetables in the freezer.
Dad likes to eat early, so I have to try to put on my last pot of dye by 3:00 p.m., allowing plenty of time to finish up, spin out and hang yarn, and clean up.
He’s usually starting to ask me what we’re going to eat early in the day. Like 10 in the morning. I’m not that organized (but will have to start planning the week out as we approach Fall and Winter weather, to make sure we have enough food in case of icy roads)! And I kinda enjoy making it up on the fly.
But tonight he knew what dinner was going to be and was pretty excited: fried chicken.
I haven’t made fried chicken in … maybe 20 or more years? Roasted chicken is my thing (with tarragon, fennel and garlic, oh my).
But I reached back into my memory of Mom’s fried chicken, consulted the interwebs for oven fried chicken, marinated my chicken in buttermilk overnight, browned it after breading (just flour, baking powder, seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper) in the frying pan and baked it in the oven.
According to Dad (“nom, nom, nom”), it was a success. But I have some work to do on this. It was a little mushy (probably not hot enough oil for frying) and it was missing an essential ingredient on further reflection: paprika. Mom always put paprika in her flour mixture. Dagnabbit.
In any event, we enjoyed our chicken with an arugula salad and cheddar/garlic biscuits (frozen, sorry, but I do make killer buttermilk biscuits).
I love making salads and tonight’s was very good:
Big handful of arugula, washed and dried
Handful of grapes
A good sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese
Some chopped up walnuts
Chopped up green onion
Italian dressing (I used a spicy dressing, which was a nice contrast with the sweet grapes and creamy feta)
Toss and enjoy – would be very good with grilled fish (we eat a lot of salmon!).
Back to the chicken – what’s your secret for great friend chicken?