Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heath Bar Brownies

I think I need to break out a new label for this entry -- things to make when the husband is mad.  I picked up the Heath Bar chips one day in the bakery aisle and had a few extra minutes the other night, thinking of the book club crew I threw these together, then spent the next 3 days defending them from family invaders.  Book club came and went, and fortunately, there are still some brownies left for the boss to enjoy.

All American Heath Brownies
1/3 c. butter
3 sections unsweetened chocolate
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/3 c. (8oz pkg) Heath Toffee Bits

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan
2. Melt butter and chocolate in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to chocolate mixture, stirring until well blended. Spread batter in prepared pan.
3. Bake 20 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from sides of pan. Remove from oven; sprinkle with toffee bits. Cover tightly with foil. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Remove foil, cut into squares.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Finally! Fried Chicken

I love fried chicken.  My kids love fried chicken.  Even my husband eats fried chicken.  Ever since I've been in the mommy business, I've tried to recreate my Aunt Tommy's fried chicken without success.  I could go into details (including a particularly horrifying kids' birthday party where I served raw-ish chicken) but I won't.  Perhaps it was the memory of that fiasco so long ago that made my mother give me this recipe.  She volunteers at the local library and found it in an old Cooks Illustrated.  I made it within 48 hours -- and it was delicious.  I want to shout from the rooftops, I CAN make fried chicken.  It was so good that my husband ate leftovers for lunch.  Leftovers!  He ate leftovers!  Okay, so here's the recipe, this is obviously a make again.

Easier Fried Chicken
Cooks Illustrated Sept/Oct 2010

1 1/4 c. buttermilk
Table salt
Dash hot sauce
3 t. ground black pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 3/4 c. vegetable oil

1. Whisk 1 c. buttermilk, t T. salt, hot sauce, 1 t. black pepper, 1/4 t. garlic powder, 1/4 t. paprika, and a pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 t. salt, and remaining 2 t. black pepper, 3/4 t. garlic powder, 3/4 t. paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl.  Add remaining 1/4 c. buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mix onto pices to form thick coating.  Place dredged chicken on a large plate, skin side up.
3. Heat oil in 11-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown (3 to 5 minutes). Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet (NOTE: Next time I'm going to line the pan with foil).  Bake chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, until 160 degrees.  Let chicken rest at least 5 minutes before serving.