I’ve alluded to the fact that Greg & I used to exchange Christmas gifts
the second we flipped the calendar from November to December slightly before Christmas.
When I mentioned that to him last night & casually threw in, “You know, we haven’t done that yet this year. Huh.”
He rolled his eyes at me and said, “Do you wanna–“
“Yes!” I screamed.
I am brimming with self-control.
My reason was two-fold for wanting to exchange a gift:
a) I wanted a present (obviously)
b) I had a gift for him that I hadn’t wrapped yet and I didn’t feel like dragging out the wrapping paper to do it.
Two birds. One stone.
This is what I got:
Isn’t it gorgeous?!
Of course the first thing that I did was read it cover to cover.
Then it hit me: I need to do a Julie/Julia-esq project with my new cookbook.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do. I have no intention of setting a one-year deadline on myself, although I do think that it’s entirely possible to cook all of these delicious recipes in a year. But since I already have my 101 things in
1001 2002 days list (have you checked it out lately?! You should. I’m a quarter of the way through with over 4 years to go!) with a deadline, I didn’t want to add unnecessary pressure on myself.
I love to cook. I want it to stay that way.
When I told Greg about my idea he was all for it since he will get to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Although he adamantly maintained that there are a few things in there he will not eat.
Example? Artichoke dip.
The hell? Does he think I’m going to argue him on that one? I will eat a pan of that all by myself.
One thing that I’m going to trick him into eating? Iny’s Prune Cake which Ree swears that Marlboro Man loves and I’m pretty sure I can get Greg to eat it if I tell him that it’s just a spice cake.
Just so long as nobody tells him about our little secret.
Or if he stops reading my blog one entry ago.
Since I was all fired up & since I had a quartered chicken in my freezer & since I only needed a few ingredients and Greg was more than willing to get out of the house & away from the kids for a few minutes even if it meant that he had to go to the grocery store, I decided to start my little project last night.
I give you:
This is where Adrianna spent a majority of the evening. Glued to my leg BEGGING to be picked up so she could see what I was doing. Normally I let her “help” but since I was working with hot oil, she just had to scream at me.
An important note about fried chicken: I’m scared of it. Before last night, I had never successfully made fried chicken. It was either over/under cooked, the breading wasn’t good, etc. It’s been a recipe that I just couldn’t get.
Enter: Ree Drummond.
Things I loved:
The breading was divine.
You bake the chicken once it’s been fried to ensure that it’s fully cooked. No salmonella! Yay!
I had almost all of the ingredients (except the cayenne pepper which I just left out & the buttermilk which I sent Greg out for) so I wasn’t stuck scouring the grocery store for really strange items.
The recipe for the breading was easily halved and since I didn’t have 2 quartered chickens, it worked out great!
Things I hated:
I don’t have a thermometer that goes hot enough to measure the recommended oil temp of 365 so I just had to guess. This might have been where I went slightly wrong (my mistake was easily fixed so don’t despair!).
Because I don’t have a deep fryer or a dutch oven, I had to cook it in a pot on the stove. It worked out mostly okay but still. I may be adding a dutch oven to my “need” list.
I’m not sure what kind of steroids they were pumping into that chicken but the pieces were humongous! That also served as a problem whilst frying it. Again, easily remedied! I just baked it a little longer than Ree’s recommended 15 minutes post-frying.
Things I learned:
Must buy a new thermometer so I can get the oil temperature right.
Must serve fried chicken with homemade rolls next time
Must use smaller pieces & must include drumsticks per Greg’s request
I seriously cannot believe how yummy it was! And, because I’ll be prepared next time, I’m sure it will turn out even better!
One recipe down, 64 to go!