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Monday Meals: Southern Fried Chicken

Dee's fried chicken and carrot slices

This weekend we made a true US comfort food (we’re so excited to head to Hong Kong this week and get some good old American food – fingers crossed!).  I used the recipe from Baker Bettie’s website.  I love her photos, and all the recipes I’ve tried so far have been great!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken from Thomas Keller

Ingredients:

  • Two 2 1/2 to 3 pound chickens cut into 10 pieces
  • Chicken brine (see below)
  • Canola or Peanut Oil
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly group black pepper
Directions:
    1. Cut each chicken into 10 pieces: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 breast quarters, and 2 wings.  Pour the brine into the container large enough to hold the chicken pieces, add the chicken and refrigerate for no longer than 12 hours. (To be honest, I boil my chicken pieces right before cooking in a similar brine recipe to below to make sure they are thoroughly cooked but it still keeps the chicken tender).
    2. Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and rinse under cold water, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Let rest at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours, or until it come to room temperature.
    3. Fill the pot with at least 2 inches of oil and heat to 320 degrees F.  Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet.  Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.
    4. Meanwhile, combine all the coating ingredients in a large bowl (flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, kosher salt, and pepper). Transfer half the coating to a second bowl (or just keep it all in one bowl).  Pour the buttermilk into a third bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Set up a dipping station: the chicken pieces, one bowl of coating, the bowl of buttermilk (we didn’t have butter milk but beaten eggs with a little plain milk works great too!), the second bowl of coating, and the parchment-lined baking sheet.
    5. Make sure to set up two flour bowls on the kitchen floor or a low counter for your helper to dip things into as well (or just play with the flour and transfer from bowl to bowl). It’s a mess but Dee LOVES it so I think it’s worth the trouble.

      Dee working with her own flour bowls - what a mess!

    6. Just before frying, dip the dark meat pieces into the first bowl of coating, then into the buttermilk, allowing the excess to run back into the bowl; then dip into the second bowl of coating, and rest on the parchment. (The double coating is the key to get a really good breading! – I never knew this before yay knowledge!)

      Dip in the flour, then egg/buttermilk, then a second time in the flour. I use a spoon to help with coating the pieces in flour

    7. Carefully (more carefully than me) lower the pieces into the hot oil.  Fry for 11 to 12 minutes turning over half-way through, until the chicken is a deep golden brown, cooked through, and very crisp.  Allow to drain on a cooling rack, skin side up to let the fat drain off.

      Fry in the oil.

    8. Turn up the heat to 340 degrees F to cook the white meat.  Repeat the coating and frying process for the white meat.  Note that the white meat will cook faster.  Approximately 7 minutes for the breasts and 6 minutes for the wings.

My first piece didn’t cook at all which is why I just went to boiling all the pieces before hand and then frying only a couple minutes after that.  Can’t have Deester eating uncooked chicken – gross!   Plus, I boiled up some sliced carrots in the water after the chicken was done boiling.  This gave the carrots such a good taste and Dee loved them.

Chicken Brine
(I just use the ingredients and proportions for this recipe depending on how many pieces of chicken I’m making for our family we do about 1/5th)
  • 5 lemons, halved
  • 24 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1 head garlic, halved through the equator
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) kosher salt
  • 2 gallons water
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt.  Remove from the heat and cool completely, then chill before using.  The brine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. I (like I said before, instead of the days in the fridge I boil the chicken in the broth to make sure it’s completely cooked by the oil step).

Tah-dah! Piles of American nostalgia!

Don’t forget to clean up your (now floury-dust-covered little helper).

This is Dee's newest "cheese" now that she's understanding words!

I know that it must look like we’re the most unhealthy people eating all this fried food but I promise the rest of the times it’s rice and vegetables so we like to throw in some good ol’ American fatty food when we can :)

meg

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“Hug Your Family” & V-Day Love

I read this post by canadian mommy time – Hug Your Family – and it was so appropriate for any time of the year.  I love the statistics and facts on how hugging helps our babies grow and develop.  And not just our little wee ones, but it helps us adults too!  Read more here – Hug Your Family.

Also, I wanted to share with you Jax’s v-day card that I’m getting out in the mail to my family and friends today (yes, on valentines day…I’ve been a little busy lately :) ).

front

back

I also wanted to say thank you to my awesome twin sister, Meg, for writing such a <3 loving <3 post.  Made me smile and feel awesome!  I am lucky to have such an amazing sister and family.  My family has always been the cornerstone of my existence, and continues to be even more so as I add on to the family with my own little one!

Hope you are having an amazing day filled with love! Don’t forget to give each other LOVE with lots of hugs and happiness! ash

Happy Holidays & Other Tidbits

Happy holidays to everyone!  

The new year is quickly approaching, and I got this list of recalls from parents.com magazine and thought we should share it with you (i subscribe to their emails).

The Biggest Recalls of 2011

I purchased the Singlair crib from Ikea, but I don’t have the model number they recalled (my bolts and nuts are just fine!).  However, it’s good to keep up on these items, just in case!

On a happier note…here’s some projects we did with Jax and with our family over the holidays:

Baby Feet Reindeer with Googly Eyes

Use your little one’s foot as the face + red thumprint nose (your’s) + googly eyes + your holiday message

= instant cuteness, fantastic family card. 

(i also wrote in his name, the month, and the year)

 

Baby Hand Print Christmas Tree

Use your little one’s hand print as the tree + finger print ornaments (your’s or your kiddos) + your holiday message

= instant cuteness, fantastic family card OR holiday decoration! 

(i also wrote in his name, the month, and the year)

We also did a family hand print tree:

Hand Print Family Tree

Use the same formula as using your little one’s hand for a christmas tree, but stack hands on top of each other with parents and kids near each other + write names near hand prints.  I want to add “Martin Family Christmas 2011” & “Merry Christmas” to this one too.  Ornaments are family member’s finger prints.  Dee really enjoyed making the ornaments with Meg.

Meg has a post coming up with some pics from our vacation . . .  I think there are some snow angles, christmas tree cutting, and Santa’s Workshop pics in it, but you’ll have to wait and see!

hope you had a great holiday! ash

Fashion Friday (mommy and me): Meg & Dee at Waterfront Park

Today we took some pictures out back again to show some details from my vintage dress and Dee’s vintage top but then we headed out as a family to try and get a Christmas photo from one of the most famous landmarks of Portland, the Made in Oregon sign.  Here’s what Dee and I wore:

On Meg: Red and bright blue flower dress, vintage (similar one at Modcloth); teal blue half cardigan, vintage (similar one at Debenhams); black tights and boots (similar ones here at Debenhams); antique shoe clip from my grandmother converted into a brooch; black belt, thrifted.

On Dee: Cacharel red cardigan with fabric trim & buttons, thrifted; Gap jeans; Nike shoes (we really need to get a non-bright pink and purple pair of shoes but . . . she’s so comfy in these!).

We thought this photo shoot would go a lot better but unfortunately the sun was not cooperating (to much at sunset so I guess we learned that we really need to do morning shoots!)

Here’s a teaser for our family Christmas photo:

That’s my oh-so-handsome husband to be!


FASHION FRIDAY (mommy & me): Meg & Dee in PDX

It’s getting colder in Portland which means . . . LAYERS. Yay!  I’m a huge fan of layers, I just believe that whenever someone has on layers it’s automatic cool (OK maybe this isn’t always true but they do go a long way in your coolness factor).  I’m a fan of pairing a vintage/romantic piece with more modern elements.  And of course being a Portlander I think a pop of color is a necessity (just drive through the neighborhoods of Portland and you’ll understand what I mean).  With fall that means it’s a perfect time to add in your mustard yellows and reddish browns!

On Dee: Tan corduroy shorts, brown and white polka dot shirt, and brown tights, Baby Gap (or get similar shorts here ); Timberland Boots; Neon Green Cardigan, Carter’s; Plaid Jacket, Old Navy (similar but we bought ours on sale in store).

On Meg: Floral Dress/Top, Forever 21 (similar one here);  Slub cardigan, Forever 21 (mine’s older but similar one); Gray corduroy bomber jacket, Target (again from way back but man this one’s cute and here’s a nice bomber); Joe Jeans Cigarette (I’m a firm believer in paying out the money for good denim or finding it at thrift stores when you can – joe’s are really good for curvy girls); Seychelles boot, Pimperline (these are so lovely because of the detail but I bought them years ago – here’s a nice camel orange boot with stacked heel as well); necklace Forever 21 (but look at this awesome etsy one).

Happy shopping for Black-Friday deals!

meg

fashion fridays (mommy & me pics): meg & dee – fall in portland

On Fridays we decided we’d like to start doing fashion related posts.  It is the nature of our shop, and we both love fashion (especially me!)!  This was our first attempt at it and I think Meg & Dee look really awesome (although, my camera wasn’t responding to the lighting the way I wanted it to).
Meg has a vintagey style that is reflected in not only what she wears, but what Dee wears too.  I think it works so well for them and for the area they live in.  Portland feels alternative, but somehow has this old school appeal, which both Dee & Meg imbue in these photos.  The tree lined neighborhoods with the fall leaves are so charming and classic.
On Meg: Sweet on Stripes Dress, Modcloth; Mustard Yellow Cardigan (two years back but here’s a similar one from Forever21); Black belt, vintage; black tights, & shoes, vintage find (similar ones that would work great as well here and here)
On Dee: Carters Corduroy Dress Set; Nike Whirlwind V; hat and glove set, Old Navy on sale in store
I think we’ll get better. However, for our first attempt I would say – not to0 bad!  Of course it helps to have such beautiful models!
ENJOY!
<3 ash
ps- I’d love some feedback or pointers if you have them!
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