Monday, March 23


Being ass-end-up broke does funny things to your lifestyle. For one thing, you almost immediately shed your social life. You go days at a time without breathing fresh air. And your diet tends to be dictated entirely by what's on sale that week. For example:

Looks like I'm eating chicken! Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. My love of chicken is longstanding and passionate, and while I'm typically a legs-and-thighs kind of man, I'm not going to take breasts for granted when they're so amicably available.

Now, I'd like to take a minute here to discuss my love affair with fried food. I don't remember when it started. Perhaps I always have loved the fried. But when I started cooking on a regular basis, fried chicken became one of the fastest dishes I mastered.

And when I say mastered, I don't mean my fried chicken is the greatest fried chicken on the face of the planet. Fried chicken is like philosophy, or God. The more you learn about it, the more you realize you know nothing at all; when I say that I have mastered fried chicken, I mean that fried chicken has mastered me. Over the years, I have studied, practiced, and developed more techniques for frying chicken than I've had girlfriends.

Now, with that said, it really should come as no surprise that my first instinct was to fry these chicken breasts. To me, that means a buttermilk soak.

And so, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces and soaking in buttermilk and hot sauce (measurements be damned, I shoot for a lusty pink color), my three pounds of chicken breasts went into the fridge. Now, they say an eight hour buttermilk soak lets some crazy enzymatic reaction happen that tenderizes the chicken. I'm in no mood to disagree, but I have noticed that the difference is really only noticeable on relatively small pieces of chicken. Larger pieces benefit more from a brine, in my opinion, and that allows for a dry-wet-dry crusting procedure that lets me season them more comprehensively.

But I digress. It's dinnertime. The nice thing about having a tub of buttermilk-soaked chicken is that you can pick out and cook whatever amount you want. Ten little nubbins get the roll-around in flour...

...And three minutes in 375 degree oil.

It's important to remember to hit these guys with salt and pepper when they're still hot - the seasonings will actually stick to the crust as the oil drains away.

And that, my friends, is the best chicken nugget you'll ever put in your mouth. Golden-crispy on the outside, juicy and gummably tender on the inside. McDonald's can go f#@k itself.

So the next time you've got a craving for something you'd ordinarily shell out $6 for, make it your damn self. Fry on, ladies and gentlemen. Fry on.

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