Planning a meal for a dinner party is always kind of stressful for me. For one thing, I’m constantly worried there won’t be enough food, so I inevitably over-cook. I blame that on my mom — at Christmas one year she underestimated her guests’ appetites and had to resort to stealthily reheating leftovers from the previous night’s party to keep everyone from noticing all the food was gone. It was super stressful. She hasn’t been the same since. Neither have I, apparently. But even putting aside the dilemma of total food quantity, there are the actual dishes to consider — what will everyone like eating? Are there any vegetarians in the crowd? What should the main course be? Are there enough sides? Will the meal balanced? Is there enough food?!?!?!?!
We had some people over for dinner last night, and naturally I spent way too much time agonizing over the meal. Should I make steak? Stuffed pasta shells? Fish?? Do I even feel like cooking?!?!?! After a long and tortured mental wrestling match with myself, I eventually decided that fried chicken was the way to go. My last attempt at frying chicken resulted in a few really under-cooked pieces that put a black mark my cooking reputation, but…if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again right?
Luckily, these fried morsels were a success! Each piece was juicy, savory and infused with the taste of rosemary. And, as a result of my iron restraint in allowing the chicken to cook unmolested this time, there was a minimum of bloody/raw bits. Mmmm. Now that is finger lickin’ good, y’all.
Rosemary Fried Chicken (Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe)
– 8 chicken legs and 8 chicken thighs (I couldn’t find thighs so I ended up using 12 drumsticks and 6 wings)
– 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
– 1/4 cup salt + 1 tsp
– 1 tbsp ground pepper + 1/2 tsp
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
– 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 4 sprigs
– 2 cups vegetable oil
(1) In a large bowl, combine chicken, buttermilk, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat each piece of chicken with the buttermilk mixture. Refrigerate overnight, or for a few hours until ready to cook.
(2) In another large bowl or high-sided dish, whisk together flour, paprika, chopped rosemary, 1/4 cup salt, and 1 tbsp pepper.
(3) Lift chicken from buttermilk, a few pieces at a time (allowing excess to drip off), and dredge in flour mixture (shaking off excess). Transfer dredged chicken to foil-lined sheet.
(4) Dredge each piece of chicken in flour mixture a second time, and return to the sheet.
(5) In a skillet or deep pan, heat oil and rosemary sprigs over medium-high. When rosemary sizzles rapidly, remove and discard.
(6) Fry chicken in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown, about 7-9 minutes per side.
(8) Enjoy hot, with biscuits, potatoes, and something green!