Double Cooked Fried Chicken (XP)
- You'll Laugh and Fry With Rodgers
Karola Saekel, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 3, 1999
�1999 San Francisco Chronicle
Steak, martinis, fondue and cigars are back -- and deep-fried foods never
left. That is one of the opening statements -- and the raison d'etre -- for
prolific cookbook author/cooking teacher and radio/ television chef Rick
Rodgers' latest volume.
Its title, '`fried & true,'' speaks to the author's love of good greasy
stuff and his predilection for unabashed punnery: The book begins with
``frittering away'' (Rodgers is a lower- case type of chap), and concludes
with ``to a crisp,'' a collection of deep-fried sweets.
Rodgers' little volume does not necessarily call the cholesterol and
calorie police to combat readiness. Done correctly -- and he explains how
in detail -- many of these dishes are not all that calorically challenging.
Besides, even devotee Rodgers doesn't recommend we eat fried things all the
The point that deep-fried foods don't have to drip with fat is well
illustrated by the first entry in his ``large fry'' section, double-cooked
fried chicken. He marinates a cut-up chicken in a buttermilk-hot-pepper
sauce mixture; coats it simply with flour, salt and pepper; then plunges it
into hot melted vegetable shortening. As soon as they have a golden-brown
crust, the chicken pieces are transferred to a wire rack and are finished
in the oven. It's a wonderfully simple recipe and produces grease-free,
Many other recipes cater to our nostalgic side: chicken-fried steak,
chicken Kiev, onion rings, doughnuts and funnel cakes.
Not to give the impression that all his inspiration comes from
grandmother's house, Rodgers includes a batch of more modern dishes:
tostaditas, crispy Japanese pork cutlets with a raw vegetable garnish and
tonkatsu sauce, rice crisps with a Thai-style peanut-lime sauce, goat
cheese wontons and panisses, a chickpea-flour version of polenta sticks.
His sweet ravioli with a filling that includes chocolate, rum, dried fruit,
almonds and -- surprise -- cooked garbanzos may be a bit startling, but
make a conversation-stopping treat.
Rodgers keeps introductions and general information brief and concise, but
he elaborates on the proper utensils, from specially designed deep-friers
to pots and pans found in any kitchen. He specifies the fats -- mostly oils
and vegetable shortening -- to use for each recipe, and he insists on not
imitating old-time cooks in one respect: Don't reuse frying fats, he says
-- use them once and discard them.
To fall into Rodgers' pun-filled pattern, this is a book that can
definitely alleviate the fear of frying.
``fried & true,'' by Rick Rodgers with photographs by Christopher
Hirsheimer. (Chronicle Books; 144 pages soft-cover; $16.95).
DOUBLE-COOKED FRIED CHICKEN
This method creates a crisp crust and a grease-free, perfect chicken
-- 2 cups buttermilk
-- 1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce such as Tabasco
-- 1 (4-pound) chicken, cut into 8 portions, with 1/3 of the breast meat
left attached to wings
-- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-- 1 teaspoon salt
-- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
-- Vegetable shortening or oil for deep frying
INSTRUCTIONS: In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot pepper sauce.
Add the chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate, stirring the chicken
occasionally, for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Drain the chicken. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large paper bag or a
large bowl. A few pieces at a time, toss the chicken in the flour mixture
to coat. Place on waxed paper and let stand 15 minutes at room temperature
to set the coating.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a large wire cake rack over a jelly-
In a deep, large skillet, melt vegetable shortening to a depth of 2 to 3
inches and heat it to 375 degrees. Add the chicken and deep-fry, turning
once, until golden brown on both sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the
wire rack and bake until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced at
the bone, about 15 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature. (Fried chicken is best served within 2
hours of frying and shouldn't be refrigerated, as refrigeration gives the
chicken breasts a cottony texture.). Serves 4.
PER SERVING: 440 calories, 45 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 24 g fat (7 g
saturated), 151 mg cholesterol, 496 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
�1999 San Francisco Chronicle Page 3/ZZ1
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