Since I was in a bit of a funk this week, Jeff offered to make dinner on Wednesday. The IM conversation went something like this:

Jeff: What would you like for dinner, my love?
Me: Something warm and comforting.
Jeff: Fried chicken?
Me: Oooo! And mashed potatoes.
Jeff: Sure.
Me: Are we going to bake it?
Jeff: I was thinking we’d fry it in a skillet.
Me: Like chicken tenders fried chicken or “fried chicken” fried chicken?

We continued in that vein and it was ultimately determined that he meant skillet-fried chicken, bones and everything. I’ve never had luck with it. He’d never done it. We had all the ingredients though, except chicken. With fifteen minutes left at work, I looked up some recipes to get a feeling for the ratio of oil to heat to time. It seemed easy enough. Plus, we have a new cast iron skillet. That makes everything better.

I found Jeff in his usual post-work state upon arriving home; slaying dragons in Skyrim with an adult beverage in hand and a small column of smoke curling out of the ashtray. (ed note: Yes, I married a geek. I knew he was a geek before we got married. In fact, I knew he was a geek back in 1996 despite his mohawk and his smouldering, East Village sex appeal. It’s all good. Trust me.) We settled in and chatted about the daily cannibalism report. After a while, it was time to cook and he too had found a recipe for skillet-fried chicken. This one imparted a particular bit of information that buoyed my hopes for success – season before breading. Most recipes have you season the flour in which you dredge the meat. In my experience, the breading always turns mushy, burns, and falls off. Thus, you lose the flavor and your chicken is sad.

Duh.

Another challenge of skillet-fried chicken is cooking it through all the way without burning the breading into inedible oblivion or otherwise poisoning yourself. This is also a problem with BBQ chicken, which Jeff has mastered. We had a quantity of oil that endured the suggested 15 minutes on each side because cast iron provides a sufficiently even, high temperature. However, I’ll let the pictures explain.

Outside of chicken after 15 minutes on each side.

Inside of chicken after 15 minutes on each side.

So close, but still bloody. Jeff’s enthusiasm died while the chicken finished in the oven. He lost his appetite, picking at his food like a super-model while I wolfed mine down. So dispirited he was that he even drank the Mike’s Hard Limeade leftover from our garden party after I went to bed. I imagine it looked something like this.

MAH CHEEKEN!

To be fair, our attempt at skillet-fried chicken was good. It just didn’t cook the way it was supposed to. Thus far, our ideas for improvement include smaller pieces, more oil, and possibly placing the skillet outside on the grill to really get the heat going. Any and all suggestions are welcome, especially if it involves you coming over and making it for us. Baked “fried chicken” devotees need not apply.

Postscript:  In his defense, Jeff has said that the Mike’s Hard Limeades were fucking up his chicken mojo.  Thus, he had to drink them in order to destroy them.

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