Fried Chicken + Champagne. Yeah, I said that.

24 October 2019

Did you know that fried chicken and champagne pair well together? No? Me either. Brian read this somewhere, I think during all his research on what to serve with what. He tends to research a lot of things and I always reap the benefits! 

So flashback to a couple months ago when our friends Scott and Holly were in the process of a big move. They were between homes and came to Little Rock every weekend. And I loved it and I miss it now! We talked about going out to eat a couple times but figured since we had 3 kids between the 4 of us, it might just be easier to cook at our house.

The first week we made the Johnston famous, Vinegar Chicken, remember when I blogged about that?! And it was amazing. But for week two, Brian really wanted to fry chicken. He enjoys doing that every once in a while. So we made chicken, homemade coleslaw and roasted potatoes (I'll post alllll recipes below). And it was all money. So delish. 

But I don't want to forget the good part. The food and drink were amazing but the champagne and frie chicken was not an easy sell. I think the conversation went a little something like this... 

Holly- Let us know which wine you want. 
Brian- A champagne is best pairing. 
Holly- Scott says no to champagne. 

And I didn't think he would try it... but we all did. And it was amazing. It didn't hurt that Brian picked up a really, really good champagne. We had a very impressive line-up by the end of the night... 

I miss the Lar Family coming to town! I'm getting sad just typing this email. So I guess I should move on to the actual recipes now.... :) 

Spicy Fried Chicken
4lb chicken, cut into 10 pieces
2 large eggs
2C buttermilk
1T hot sauce
3C all-purpose flour
6-8C grapessed, peanut or canola oil for crying, plus 1/4 cup for spicy oil
2T cayenne pepper
1T dark brown sugar
1/2t smoked paprika
1/2t toasted cumin, finely ground
1 garlic clove, finely grated or pounded with pinch of salt

Prep the chicken in advance of cooking. Cut into 10 pieces. Save the carcass for your next batch of stock. Season generously with salt on all sides. Refrigerate chicken if seasoning more than an hour in advance; otherwise, leave it out on the counter. 

Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Set aside. Which the flour and 2 generous pinches of salt together in another bowl. Set aside. 

Please a wide, deep pan over medium heat. Add oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches and heat to 360 degrees. Begin dredging the chicken, one of two pieces at a time. First, dredge in flour and share off the excess, then dip into buttermilk, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then return to the flour mixture and dredge a final time. Shake off the excess and place on a baking sheet. 

Fry chicken in tow or three rounds, letting the temperature of the oil drop to and hover around 325 while the chicken cooks. Use metal tongs to turn the chicken occasionally, until skip is a deep golden brown, about 12 minutes (closer to 16 for large pieces and 9 for small). If you are unsure that the meat is cooked through, poke through the crust with a paring knife and peek at the meat. It should be cooked all the way down to the bone, and any juice the meat gives off should run clear. If the meat is still raw or the juice has the slightest hint of pink, return the chicken to the oil and continue cooking until it's done. 

Let cool on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. 

Combine the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, cumin and garlic in a small bowl, and add the 1/4 cup oil. Brush the chicken with the spicy oil and serve immediately. 

Bright Cabbage Slaw
1/2 medium head of red or green cabbage
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/4C lemon juice
1/2C coarsley chopped parsley leaves
1/2C stiff Classic Mayo (additional recipe or store bought)
1t sugar

Quarter the cabbage through the core. Use a sharp knife to cut the core out at an angle. Thinly slice the cabbage crosswise and place in a colander set inside a large salad bowl. Season with two generous pinches of salt to help draw out water, toss the slices, and set aside. 

In a small bowl, toss the sliced onion with lemon juice and let it sit for about 20 minutes to macerate. Set aside. 

After 20 minutes, drain any water the cabbage may have given off. Place the cabbage in the bowl and add the parsley and macerated onions. Dress the slaw with mayo. Toss very well to combine. 

Taste and adjust, adding remaining macerating lemon juice and salt as needed. When your palate zings with pleasure, it's ready. Serve chilled or at room temperate. Store leftover slaw covered, in the fridge, for us to two days. 

Herb Roasted Potatoes 
1lb fingerling potatoes 
any mix of herbs-- we used oregano and rosemary
salt and pepper

Roast on 450 until desired crispness :) 

Enjoy. XOXO!

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