Brandon is a fantastic cook, but because of his work schedule, he usually doesn't have the chance to help me with dinner. Before we got married, kitchen time was a date night every week. Ladies and Gents, if you have a significant other that enjoys being in the kitchen, this is a fun and inexpensive way to have a great date night. On occasion B and I would even get a babysitter for tiny tot, just to come home and cook and enjoy a meal together. It's been months since we have had a chance to be in the kitchen together.
Anyway I decided to make this meal on a Saturday, which meant he could spend some time in the kitchen helping me out. It brought back many great memories.
So this recipe was my date night recipe, it's pretty simple to make on your own, and fun to make as a couple or a family. It has three parts to it, the main part is the fried chicken of course, I also made homemade mac'n'cheese and buttered soy green beans.
SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
This recipe is made for 6-8 chicken pieces. You can use any type of chicken you want, just remember cooking times will vary based on size and bone-in/bone-out.
- 6-8 Chicken Legs
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 1/2 TBS Seasoned Salt
- 1 1/2 TBS Pepper
- 2 Tsp Paprika
- 1 TBS Garlic Powder
- 1 Brown Paper Bag
- 3/4 C Salt
- 3 Quarts Cold Water
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 2 Cups Crisco
(ignore my special K, that is not one of the ingredients lol)
Brine chicken for 2 hours in 3 quarts of water mixed with 3/4 cup salt. Leaving it in for longer than 2 hours can result in salty chicken. (You can also set chicken in buttermilk overnight, both will result in juicy chicken!) Remove the chicken from the brine, dry with paper towels, let sit covered under a paper towel for 30 minutes until completely dry and at room temperature. (I added 2 TBS of minced garlic to my brine as well because my family loves garlic chicken, you can add this if you would like)
In a brown paper bag combine Flour, Seasoned Salt, Pepper, Paprika, and Garlic powder until well mixed. Roll chicken in the flour mixture, shake off any excess flour, then dip in the egg yolk. Place chicken back in the bag and shake the bag until chicken pieces are evenly coated. Depending on the size of the bag you may have to mix 2-3 at a time, or you can add them all at once.
In a cast iron skillet **cast iron is the best skillet to use for fried chicken, it keeps the chicken juicy and prevents it from sticking** add 2 cups of Crisco and heat skillet until it is melted but not smoking.
Shake the excess flour from the chicken and put the pieces in the pan. Do not overfill your pan, 4 legs at a time should be plenty for a 10" cast iron skillet.
Fry the pieces on med-high heat until lightly browned on both sides. Cover and cook on med-low for 20-25 minutes. Uncover and turn the heat back up to med-high. Do not be concerned if it starts bubbling, it's normal. Cook until golden brown on all sides.
Using a meat thermometer, insert as close to the center as possible without touching the bone. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
TRIPLE CHEDDAR MAC'N'CHEESE
I love this recipe. It is one of my absolute favorite foods to make. And it's so unbelievably simple.
- 1LB Elbow Macaroni
- 2 TBS Butter
- 3 TBS Flour
- 1 TBS Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Milk
- 3 Cups Shredded Triple Cheddar Blend (Sharp, Mild, and White)
- 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Cook the noodles until Al Dente. Then strain and set aside.
In a deep skillet, add melt 2 TBS Butter with 1 TBS Olive Oil.
Combine flour and gently whisk with butter until smooth and flour has cooked. About 3 minutes. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk, gently bringing milk to a bubble.
Add 2 cups of cheese a handful at a time and whisk until melted. Season with Nutmeg and Cayenne. Taste sauce and add salt to your liking.
Add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss until completely coated.
Transfer the noodles to a baking dish and top with the last cup of cheese (you can add extra if you like, I do)
Place the baking dish in the oven at 475 Degrees Farenheit or under a broiler and brown the cheese on top.
BUTTERED SOY GREEN BEANS
- 1/2 LB Fresh Green Beans, washed with ends removed.
- 3 TBS Butter
- 1 Clove Chopped Garlic
- Splash of soy sauce
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1/4 C water
Melt the butter in a pan and saute garlic until golden and releasing an aroma. Add green beans, splash of soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss and coat green beans, and cook covered on low for about five minutes. Beans should still be crisp. Mix cornstarch into 1/4 C cold water and add to beans to thicken sauce.
Dinner was fantastic that night and it was even more wonderful to be able to prepare it with my husband and I hope that you enjoy your meal as much as I did mine!