(remember this image for later in the post. I cannot figure out how to make this pic NOT be at the top of the post....)
Good morning my sweet bees :)
This time I have a fun finger food for you :). Fried chicken wingies! Perfect football food, perfect little kid food, perfect "I want a snack of something fried in a hurry" food :).
I was expecting company yesterday, so I bought a few bags of frozen chicken wingies (the kind used for buffalo wings) the day before. Regrettably, the timing for the company did not quite work out the way I was thinking it might, so I ended up not being able to serve these for them. HOWEVER, the good news is that I put them in the freezer and reheated them this morning to see how they would survive the freezing. They were WONDERFUL!!!!
Steph's Fried Chicken Wingies
1 1/2 large bags of frozen, raw chicken wingie pieces
4 Tablespoons of chicken bullion (optional)
3 cups self rising flour
2 Tablespoons Lawry's
2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne (this is not enough to be hot, just to add some flavor. if you want hot, add more)
2 cups milk
Place 1.5 bags of raw, still frozen, chicken wings in a large empty pasta pot. Sprinkle chicken bullion granules over meat. Carefully added water to fill the pot and put the pot to boil on the stove. Boil the chicken wings until a meat thermometer inserted deep into the meat read at least 170 degrees F (y'all DO have meat thermometers, right? Right? :) SAFETY SAFETY!).
Drain the chicken wings and put them aside. Put 1 to 2 inches of oil in pot or electric skillet (see notes below :) ), and turn heat til oil is about 375 degrees.
In the meantime, mix the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, seasonings) in a flat bottom dish (such as a pyrex or a pie plate, or even a large ziplock baggie) and the rest of the wet ingredients (milk, egg) in another bowl. I then add about a tablespoon of the dry into the wet to thicken it a bit to help it stick better, but that is not necessary.
Put a handful of wings in the dry mix to coat, then in the wet mix, then back in the dry mix. The double coating is wonderful! Then place in hot oil. You will know if the oil is hot enough if a pinch of dry flour starts to "fry" a bit when you drop it in the oil, instead of settling down to the bottom.
Fry til they are a pretty golden color, then flip and fry the other side of the wings. Since the chicken is cooked, you do not have to worry about undercooking...just fry until they look pretty to you :). Place cooked wings on a dish lined with a paper towel to drain (I used a pyrex baking pan).
To freeze, cool the wings slightly and place in ziplock baggies and put in freezer. To reheat, place wings on tin foil in toaster oven or oven and cook at 375 for about 16 minutes, depending on the size of the wings (I have had brands of wings that looked like they came from an emu, and some that looked like they came from a chickadee, so you have to play with the timing).
Serve with dip, coat in sauce, however you like your wings :). This recipe and procedure are also excellent for larger pieces of chicken.
I heated oil in one of those electric skillets like one above. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these. They are convenient for browning meat, cooking soup, frying beignets, fries, and chicken, etc. They are dishwasher safe and a BREEZE to clean up.
I put maybe an inch or two, tops, of oil in there. Many people feel that you need to submerge the meat in oil--NOT AT ALL!!! I put only enough oil to reach about halfway up whatever meat I am frying--usually an inch or two. The meat will be flipped over, so you do not have to submerge the meat in oil.
I like the smaller sized electric skillet, as it is perfect for our family. I also like the ability to control the temperature better than the stove. If I need to fry at 375, I set the temp to 375. I fry pretty often and the problem with frying on the stove (well one of many problems) is that it is hard to get the temp just right--it is either too cold or reaching that smoking point.
Why do I boil my chicken first? Because:
a)I hate handling raw meat, and it is easy to open the bag and dump in the chicken. BTW, dump the chicken first THEN add water, NOT the other way around, or it is messy :)
b)because it helps flavor get into the meat--you can use onions, garlic, lemon (if you are doing a lemon chicken), soy (for a chinese flair), etc.
c)because then I KNOW that the chicken is cooked through to a safe temperature, and I am not doing that dance of "burnt outside vs raw inside"
d)Because the chicken is cooked already, it only needs a few minutes in the oil, just enough to crisp up the breading, meaning it soaks up much less oil and requires less oil.
e)It saves time as I HAVE to monitor the hot oil every minute, but I can go on to other parts of the supper while the chicken is boiling.
f)I can use frozen chicken pieces without defrosting.
a)I use self rising flour as it makes a lighter crust (I ACTUALLY used some of my treasured Whit Lily yesterday! gasp!), however, it is NOT necessary to use it. Regular flour can be used as well. Or you can use regular flour and add a few tablespoons of corn starch to lighten it up. I go heavy on the cornstarch when frying onions, to get that very ethereal crunch.
b)Use any seasonings you want to in the flour! Things to try adding to the flour dredge: ranch dressing packets, dry chili seasoning packets, italian dressing packets, green can parm cheese, corn meal or corn flour, buttermilk powder, paprika, Tony Chachere's, etc.
c)Use tongs instead of your fingers to do the dry-wet-dry dredging. It really cuts down on the mess.
d)I also use this with pork chops to make fried pork chops. Very nummy :)
e)You can use this to make chicken tenders/nuggets too! Use boneless skinless chicken strips, boil. Then instead of doing a dry-wet-dry, actually mix the two to make a light batter (thinner than pancakes. Sort of like syrup in viscosity).
f)I do Italian Fried Chicken using boneless skinless THIGHS. Instead of the flour dredge, I use italian bread crumbs with extra lawry's, tons of green can parm, and cayenne in it. Very nummy too!
a)HOT OIL MUST ALWAYS BE MONITORED! DO NOT NOT NOT LEAVE IT FOR A SECOND. SERIOUSLY. NOT EVEN ONE SECOND. LET THE PHONE RING. LET SOMEONE ELSE GET THE DOOR. DO THE POTTY DANCE IF YOU NEED TO, BUT DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN. IF YOU HAVE TO LEAVE THE ROOM, TURN THE OIL OFF, AND PUT IT OFF BURNER AND MAKE SURE NO CATS, KIDS, OR DOGS CAN GET INTO THE ROOM.
c)See b...then see a
d)When I fry, no kids or critters are allowed anywhere near me. Period.
e)Keep cords behind the skillet (so no one can accidentally snag it and pull oil down). Fry on the back burners and keep pot handles turned to the back.
f)Did I mention points a, b, c, d and e? Yeah, review those :).
g)If I am going to cook on the stove, I prefer to use a pot instead of a frying pan (though I put the same amount of oil in both). It REALLY cuts down on the splatters, and is safer as the oil will not slosh out of the pot.
I do not mean to scare people. Frying is a delicious and much easier way of cooking than people often think. However, it DOES require more vigilance than turning on the microwave. Preboiling the chicken means you do not have to be vigilant for long, but you do have to be vigilant. :) As long as you pay attention, there is no problem :).
I hope you try these! They were phenom, TOTALLY easy and stress free, and FUN. Make them on Saturday, freeze them (hee hee, if there are any left overs! :) ), and heat them in the oven on Sunday if you are having a football party or need something to take to church :).