I know people think its funny that Tony doesn’t try like much of the food I make.  Whenever he reads a comment that says “I wish I worked with you Biz!” he says “but they haven’t had your quinoa meatballs, have they??!!”  But I just smile because I know a lot of you WOULD like quinoa meatballs!

So I have to give in every once in a while.  While Tony loves meatloaf, and sloppy joes, I would think one of his favorite foods is fried chicken.  And we’ve been seeing it everywhere lately.  Only problem, the only fried chicken you can get in our neck of the woods is KFC.  šŸ™

As luck would have it, Tony was flipping through the channels yesterday and wouldn’t you know on America’s Test Kitchen they were showing how to make easy crispy fried chicken.  We both looked at each other and thought – we need to make that!  And as more luck would have it, my store had cut chicken for $1.49 a pound – so for about $7 bucks, I made a shit load of fried chicken – and other than meatloaf and pizza – this is the last leftover Tony will eat! šŸ˜€

Best Fried Chicken. Ever.  (from America’s Test Kitchens)

  • 1.25 cups buttermilk
  • dash of salt
  • dash of hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper (I used half that – Tony doesn’t like it too spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 pounds chicken parts
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespon salt, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, a pinch of cayenne together in a large bowl.  Add the chicken and turn to coat.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or overnight.  (mine soaked about 4 hours)

Heat oven to 400.  Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and pinch of cayenne together in a large bowl.  Add remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form.  Working 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour and using your hands, press mixture onto the chicken to form a thick coating. 

Heat cast iron skillet to 350.  (they suggested 375, but that was too hot for my skillet).  Carefully put chicken in oil – 4 minutes per side and remove to a wire rack that’s on a baking sheet.  I was able to do all my chicken in three batches.

After all the pieces are fried, bake for 15 minutes, let sit 5 minutes.  You want the breasts to read 160 degrees and dark meat at 175.  Somehow all my chicken came out equally delicious.

After Tony took one bite he said “Bravo!”  and I had to agree.  The batter stayed on the chicken, it was super juicy on the inside and I have to say even better than KFC!

The buttermilk coating is nice and thick – here’s how the chicken looks after the first 4 minutes:

Um, did I mention that it was only me and Tony for dinner? šŸ˜€

I had a cup of mashed potatoes, a wing and half a chicken breast.

I know I meant to have a vegetable! šŸ˜€  The chicken wing is my favorite piece.

This one is a keeper!  Especially since I got a Bravo from Tony šŸ˜€

July 11, 2001 Tony and I closed on our house!  It’s hard to believe we’ve lived here 10 years already.  When we met I lived in Oak Park, Tony lived in Barrington, and my step-son lived in Arlington Heights.  We would live at my house during the week, then pick up Joe on Friday night, spend the weekend in Barrington, and then drop Joe off on Sunday nights.

I cannot tell you what a great feeling it was to just be living together under one roof.  Sadly with the housing market I think our house is worth the exact same amount we paid for it, but we have equity in it and didn’t buy during the whole housing market boom – at least we don’t owe more than what its worth. šŸ˜€

So instead of showing you pictures in the beginning – I bring you 2005.  Joe was 16 and Hannah was 13 in this picture – I took it around Thanksgiving for our Christmas card that year – its still so wierd to me how much they do look like they could be related!

And Tony and I going to my office Christmas party – can you tell how excited he is to be dressed up!  He’s so happy those days are over now that I have a new job!

Yep, that’s me with blonde highlights AND make-up = how snazzy!

I forgot to pick winners for the granola giveaway from Friday, so I’ll do that tomorrow – today begins my clean eating week – no wine, more fruits and veggies and water!  I am off to the gym to swim. šŸ˜€

Let’s make it a great Monday!