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I just had the brilliant idea to seal-a-meal the ingredients to the stuff I like to cook, so when I feel like cooking up something fresh I can just pull it out...

I wonder whether this will be better or worse than just cooking everything twice in a row and freezing the second one.
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So last night I carved my chicken without consulting the Dino-Cam video, and it turned out passable I suppose. there was a lot of meat still left on the carcass.

[livejournal.com profile] tamtrible says that you need to use five or six chicken carcasses to get a decent amount of stock going, of which I am skeptical, considering the inconvenience of having to store that many cubic feet of raw chicken around.

I used the electric frying pan this time, figuring I'd be able to control the temperature better, and the lid would do an even better job of trapping the oil mess. However, it also trapped in heat and water, as evidenced by the more rapid browning I saw on the top side of the chicken. Since it's steam pushing out of the meat that keeps the chicken from being greasy, I suspect that precaution no longer worked, since there was also steam on the outside. The good news is that it's doubtful I undercooked any of it, although I still can't find my probe thermometer.

Guests will be showing up soon. One of them will be getting the wing I forgot to season before dredging.
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Today was my third attempt at frying chicken.

I couldn't find my probe thermometer, and my infra-red thermometer crashed and froze right when the oil temperature reached 290, so I suspect my temperature control was way off. As evidence, every piece has blackened skin, and I may have hit the smoke point very early.

I fried not just the chicken I carved yesterday, but a package of drumsticks. The drumsticks didn't soak in the buttermilk for more than an hour or so, but at least I got to reuse those two cups of buttermilk before throwing it out.

I think next time I'll use my electric frying pan, since I'll be able to delegate most of the temperature control to its thermostat.
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I'm entrusting the rice cooker that it can also handle bok choy and a pound of chicken.
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so I let the whole wheat dough rise overnight.

I opened the lid, and it seems to have risen to the exact right level.

So I started to move it to the fridge to store it for later cooking, and I dropped the bowl.

It didn't spill, but all the air went out of the dough.

I guess I'll try baking it anyway.
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The 100% Whole Wheat recipe in the book had a lot of new, viscous ingredients in it, like oil and honey and milk, in strange amounts, which grew even stranger as I only had a big enough bowl to do a 2/3 batch.

I got all the ingredients except the flour together, and then I spilled the bowl. FUCK.

I could have given up, but instead I started over.

The dough is resting and rising now. I probably won't have time to bake it tonight.
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I'm working from home today, so I attempted fried chicken again for lunch, this time with boneless breast meat, even though I had no thermometer, and only my light teflon pan in which to fry it.

The result was thoroughly cooked, but very greasy, and without very much crust. Either I didn't have the temperature up high enough the whole time, or I did something wrong with the flour. Maybe I drained the buttermilk off for too long while I was prepping everything else.

Incidentally, Lodge sells two 10-inch skillets: the Logic, which is what I had originally, and the Pro-Logic, which has sloped sides and a loop handle. And they're both the same price, to my surprise. Is the Pro-Logic any better?
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A Lowe's just opened across the street. So I bought a doormat, and it's doing a splendid job of covering the damage.

I didn't look for a new skillet there. I need other stuff too.

I also had a wacky idea, in the spirit of getting back on that horse, to buy a new skillet, and a new chicken, and carve it just like the first time (only better), and fry another chicken TOMORROW, just to end it all on a higher note than this.
unbibium: (future self)
I just checked, and, oops, some of the linoleum tile is stuck to the bottom of my cast-iron skillet.

I was going to give this to my brother's grandchildren.

Oh well, I need a new one anyway.

So, to eat three fried drumsticks, it cost me enough money for nine drumsticks, a lot of shortening and flour, my apartment's damage deposit, and my cast-iron skillet.

Because I didn't test my thermometer before starting, I didn't get my money's worth out of my ingredients.

Because I both forgot to turn the heat off when I was done, the shortening started smoking, and the smoke detector started barking. I should have moved it to an unused burner, but because I didn't want the smoke detector to keep barking, I tried to move it outside. And because it was full of hot oil, it sloshed onto the floor and into my sock. And because I was most interested in preserving my feet, I sacrificed my pan and my apartment floor.
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My thermometer crapped out. And that turned out to be important, because my first four drumsticks turned out dark on the outside and pink in the middle. Thrown out.

I dug out a candy thermometer and managed to pinpoint the temperature at 350 before putting the other five in, turned it up a bit, to let it adjust, then turned it down a little below where it was once the sizzling got louder.

I took it out and it looks more evenly browned at least. But, I forgot to turn the stove down, and the shortening started smoking a few minutes ago. I figured I should put the smoky pot outside, and then I spilled some of the hot oil on the floor. My socks soaked some of it up, and now I have burnt toes. They're not so bad though. I just put the pan on the floor and put my toes under cold water for a few seconds.

And, since I put the hot pan on the floor, I fucked up the floor. I guess I need a welcome mat now.

The last five still have a way overcooked crust, but internally they're OK. The crust kind of ruins the experience of eating them, though.

I should switch to casseroles or something.
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My last chicken was too large, at about 4.5 pounds. Tonight, all the store had were 5.5 pound monster chickens.

So I just bought a container full of drumsticks. Problem solved, and I saved a lot of time now having to carve everything. Except it's all going to be drumsticks. That's OK, though. No sense spending extra for chicken breasts when I'm not yet sure about whether it'll turn out...
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One thing's for sure: this weekend, I gotta fry another chicken.

I'll serve myself well by picking smaller chicken, and not forgetting to use the paprika shake on any pieces.
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At the QuikTrip, $7.01 will buy you a cooler that is too small for my second-largest pot, and a bag of indestructible ice. Since the cooler was too small, I ladled what I could into a few ziploc bags, and put the bags in with the ice. I also liberated the ice from its plastic bag, figuring it should be given the chance to melt and create some water to help convection along.

I'll check on it in an hour.

I was by no means exhaustive with my filtering, but I don't see any solids. And I also was not very exhaustive in my collection. This was just a practice, anyway.

I still don't really know what I'm going to do with it. My cooking habits have been stockless for so long.
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Funny how sometimes YouTube delivers where BitTorrent fails. According to AB, I've made two fatal errors:

1. Didn't start with cold water -- [livejournal.com profile] tamtrible told me to add the chicken while the water was still cold, too, but I brought the water to a boil first. So I might have aborted the whole thing right there.
2. Didn't think ahead about how I was going to refrigerate all this. I don't have a cooler. In fact, I don't really have the gear in place to even filter this stuff properly.

So right now I've got a pot of hot brown liquid that ultimately needs to be disposed of. Or maybe before I throw it out, I'll put some of it in the rice cooker and just see what happens when I cook rice in it. I don't know.

I suppose I could chance it that the QuikTrip across the street still has some styrofoam coolers and bags of ice for me to use.
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I threw in the baby carrots about an hour ago. And now they're swimming around.

Seriously, they're bobbing to the surface and then sinking again, and there's a couple that are nipping at the surface like goldfish for a few seconds, and then start moving again. It's the craziest thing. There must be a lot of convection going on in that pot.

I also threw in an undisclosed quantity of kosher salt, because, hey, kosher salt. Was that wise?

I also still have no idea what I'm doing this afternoon.
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So, the chicken stock has been simmering in there with a cut-up onion overnight.

Not sure what to do next, or whether it's worth my while to sacrifice those baby carrots that are sort of on their last leg.
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went for a quick IKEA run with [livejournal.com profile] tamtrible, which turned into a lengthy Costco run in which I put back almost everything I put in the cart, which turned into a much more productive grocery shopping adventure at Sunflower.

I tried making my famous Curried Chicken with Peaches, but with pork instead. Just like that really old commercial about that restaurant where all the customers order chicken dishes with pork substituted. I substituted some ribs that were on sale. The first thing I noticed was the impact of the darker color; the meat was no longer the same color as the peaches when coated with curry. It was also tougher to chew, and probably could have benefited from smaller pieces. I also could have selected a lighter cut, but those were more expensive. [livejournal.com profile] tamtrible stayed to act as guinea pig.

The chicken carcass has been thawing in my fridge since I said it was, and she told me I should put it in a pot of boiling water and then set my stove on the lowest possible setting, and then cook it for like a day, and I can add the vegetables whenever, and it will eventually become a stock. Now, when I looked this up online, I remember it talked about browning the meat first and a few other things before I got bored and stopped reading, so I'm not sure what's optional and what isn't. Before I dump my precious baby carrots and leftover onions into this pot, I'd like to check with the LJ nation and ask you all: am I actually on my way to making something edible, or should I empty my stockpot into the dumpster now?
unbibium: (Default)
So, I got a chicken carcass. How do I make stock?
unbibium: (Default)
Mistakes made so far, apart from carving:

1. The chicken was too big, and therefore I can't fit all eight pieces in the pan at once. Considering it takes close to a half hour to fry the whole thing, I don't know if I should fry them afterwards -- they'll have been at room temperature for too long, and I wouldn't put them in the fridge like they are. The space problme may also have to do with the skin integrity problems I had while carving.

2. Forgot to put the seasoning on a few of the pieces before I put the flour on them. And I don't think they're the same pieces.... On Good Eats, they seasoned all the pieces before dredging, but I don't quite have that kind of room. I may have to be more creative about my layout next time.

3. Couldn't recognize the chicken pieces by shape; had to feel them for the bone structure.

4. Forgot to put the splatter guard on for the first few minutes.

I also am not sure I've got this temperature control thing down. We'll find out.

So far, it looks like this will at least be edible, and if I do this again it'll be better.
unbibium: (Default)
with a little clutter reduction, it looks like my kitchen is plenty big for frying chicken. Tomorrow is the final stage. Eight pieces.

I will say that I'm impressed with how cheap you can get a whole chicken. Underf four dollars, mine cost. I haven't broken down all the other money I spent on things like paprika and shortening. Can't be all that much.


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April 2017



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