Cooking with Caitlin: Fried chicken and a side dish for the okra naysayers in your life

CINCINNATI - WCPO is pleased to bring you food blogger Caitlin MacEachen Steininger  as a contributor. She has been tickling the food fancy of her family and friends since third grade. Check back next Monday for a new recipe!

Make plans for a fried chicken dinner later this week. Assign your neighbor to the left the pasta salad, and your neighbor to the right the corn on the cob. Get the Hudy on ice, break down a watermelon, and cover your table with some Kraft paper. 

It’s summer in Cincinnati, baby. Eat it up.

Fried Chicken

As you prepare the rest of your menu, keep this warm on racks in a 200-degree oven. It will be just right when everyone sits down to eat together.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Fryer Chicken
  • 1/2 gallon Buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Hot Sauce
  • Flour
  • Seasoning Salt
  • Oil
  • Salt + Pepper

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large resealable bag combine the buttermilk and hot sauce; mix together until evenly combined. Add the chicken to the buttermilk and toss to marinate. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and ideally as long as overnight.
  3. Fill a large pot halfway full of oil and bring to high heat. Drain your chicken from the buttermilk. In a large paper bag combine the flour and seasoning salt and some more black pepper.
  4. Add your chicken to the paper bag and toss until everything is coated.
  5. When the oil has reached 325 degrees (use a thermometer to gauge, or test by sprinkling a pinch of flour into the hot oil – when it floats on top of the oil and bubbles, it’s ready), slowly add your chicken breasts to the oil. Let cook 15 -20 minutes.
  6. When the chicken is golden brown and has an internal temperature of 180 degrees, remove from the oil and let rest on paper towels.
  7. Now, let your oil come back up to temperature. Add your thighs and drumsticks. Let cook another 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and 180 degrees internally.
  8. Finally, warm the oil again and finish the batch by frying the wings, about 10 minutes until they are golden and to temperature.
  9. Once all of the chicken is finished cooking, serve hot and enjoy!

Prep Time: 7 Hours Cook Time: 1 Hour Yields: 4 Portions

Tips + Tricks: If your oil is too hot and browns the chicken before the inside is finished cooking, remove it from the oil and place on a cookie sheet with a rack in a 375-degree oven. Heat until the meat is cooked throughout each piece.

Hot Pickled Okra

This is not only a wonderful complement to any comfort food, it is a great gateway recipe for okra naysayers. Because these are left whole there are no texture issues to scare them away.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pickling Spice
  • 2 tsp.-1 Tbsp. Red Pepper Flake
  • 2 handfuls Fresh Okra

Instructions

  1. In a small sauce pot combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, pickling spice, and red pepper flake.
  2. Turn to high heat and cook until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Turn off the heat and let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Finally, pour the pickling liquid over the okra and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer to an air-tight container and keep in your refrigerator to enjoy with hot and crispy fried chicken.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 5 Minutes Yields: 2-3 Cups

Tips + Tricks: Monitor the heat factor by starting with just a couple teaspoons of red pepper. If you can handle the heat, add more red pepper flakes, or even a couple chilIs halved lengthwise. 

(Photos by Cara Hummel Photography)

 

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