For the past few days I've had a craving for fried chicken. It had been a while since I last made some. That craving went into overdrive as soon as saw the first 30 minutes of The Help. Have you seen that movie? If not, you really need to go see it.
I love movies where food plays an important role. It shows people that food isn't just something to tame hunger, it also changes lives. It changed mine.
So many great things have happened in my life thanks to food. From starting this Blog, to becoming a contributor for other food sites. I am grateful everyday for all the amazing things food has brought into my life.
Keeping with the southern theme of the movie, I decided to cook some Southern Fried Chicken and the perfect Corn Bread.
Seriously, this is the only recipe you'll ever need. This statement comes from someone who doesn't really like Corn Bread. But I gave this recipe a chance. It didn't disappoint. It's perfectly sweet, just the right amount.
For the chicken, I used the same recipe I've been using for years. Only that this time I added a bit of corn starch to make the crust lighter and crispier. It came out perfect.
But there was also another important change to the recipe. Just like Minny teaches Celia in the movie, I cooked the chicken on vegetable shortening instead of oil. It creates a very flavorful chicken. Truly, like nothing I had ever tasted.
Best way to enjoy it all? A good old tall glass of Coca-Cola. Just like in the movie.
for the Corn Bread (adapted from here)
- dry ingredients
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt.
- Wet Ingredients
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter milk
-Mix dry ingredients together. Add eggs, oil, milk, and buttermilk to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
-Preheat pan (I used a buttered cast Iron Pan) in a 350 degree oven.
-Pour cornbread mixture into hot pan. Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes.
for the fried chicken
- one whole Chicken cut into parts
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup corn meal
- 3 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups Vegetable Shortening (like Crisco)
-Mix the flours and spices in a plastic bag (like Ziploc).
-Season the chicken with some salt and pepper to taste. Put the pieces inside the plastic bag with the dry mixture and give it a good shake until it's all covered. Set aside.
-Melt the vegetable shortening in a cast iron. When it's hot, add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes on each side. The breasts may need a 5 more minutes of cooking time.