Jac made “spicy, supercrunchy fried chicken” for lunch with friends at our house recently. The recipe came from The Essential New York Times Cook Book: Recipes for a New Century (2010).
The recipe begins:
Ready for a tip that will change your life? You don’t need to deep-fry chicken: you can shallow-fry it in half an inch of oil, which means less mess and wasted fat.
That’s good advice.
My sister CW and her hubby M gave Jac the cook book for Christmas last year. It’s a hefty collection of recipes (932 pages!) from the New York Times’ 150-year-old food archive – the spicy, supercrunchy fried chicken recipe was originally published in the New York Times in 2003.
I’ve found a version of spicy, supercrunchy fried chicken on the New York Times website, posted in 2008 – it’s almost the same recipe as what’s in the book, but missing one ingredient: 1/2 cup of cubed country ham, which you add to the hot pan before the chicken pieces. Obviously, ham adds more salt and fat to the fried chicken, but if you’re after an indulgent taste sensation – and let’s face it, you’re cooking fried chicken after all – I recommend including the ham. The little crispy salty cubes of ham really made me fall in love with this particular fried chicken recipe.
One of the reasons Jac chose this recipe (besides that it sounded delicious and relatively easy to make) is that the recipe specifically says you can serve the chicken at any temperature. She shallow-fried the chicken in the morning and allowed it to cool. We had it all ready to go in the fridge on a covered platter with dishes of mayonnaise and BBQ sauce. It was great because Jac wasn’t stuck in the kitchen cooking when our friends were here.
It probably wasn’t as “supercrunchy” as it would’ve been if served hot, but it was tasty! Because we were catering for kids, Jac didn’t use the full amount of curry powder, so it probably wasn’t quite as “spicy” either.
To go with the chicken, I assembled a platter of cold meats (polony and slices of Jac’s homemade corned beef), vegetables (carrot, grape tomatoes, cucumber, tinned asparagus, avocado, radishes), pickles (dill pickles, gherkins, picked mushrooms and bright green pickled onions that look like something out of a mad scientist’s lab) and hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half. In the centre, a ramekin of Beerenberg Taka Tala dressing.
What would you go for first?
We also had fresh white bread rolls and butter.
That Taka Tala dressing really goes with everything! It was delicious on the corned beef. I ate the chicken double-dipped in mayo and BBQ sauce. The chicken was tender and succulent and wonderful to eat using our fingers.
The mayo we used was Kewpie brand. Next to a really good homemade mayo, Kewpie’s probably my favourite mayonnaise. It’s just so creamy and tasty. I love it with Japanese chicken karaage and now I love it with New York Times fried chicken.
Fried chicken followed by ice cream – as you can guess, I absolutely loved this lunch.
If you think the chicken looks yellow, you’re right! We used more birds from Game Farm: a couple of cornfed chickens, reared in the Sydney Basin. Their distinctive golden tinge is a result of their diet as well as natural sunlight. The chickens came whole; Jac cut them into pieces before coating/frying.
See my other posts featuring Game Farm birds: