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KFC Style Gravy



I am surprised when I learn that dishes I hold dear and assume others do as well, turn out not to be liked at all by those others.  For example - take fries and gravy, the old standard in many restaurants in Canada.  In the US they do not serve gravy on fries except in some restaurants along the border.  If you ask for gravy with your fries in most places you are met by the server staring at you like you have two heads and one of them is making a face at him or her.

The gravy at KFC in Canada is different than the KFC in the States, regionally adjusted to the palates of the locals I assume, but I love KFC gravy regardless of the locale, though I don’t eat it but once or twice a year for fear of the massive coronary it could unleash if it was a regular accompaniment in my diet. But once or twice a year?  What could possibly go wrong? I seldom eat fries also, but if they’re fresh cut and good gravy is available, I’m your man. Then I feel guilty for days afterwards but I get over it in time and get tempted and fail again.

As Susan and I were travelling through the Southwest States on vacation years ago, we stopped at a KFC for lunch. Once we got to the front of the line we placed our order with the teller, which included French fries and not mashed potatoes as is the norm apparently, then asked for gravy.   

The teller did a classic double take, pausing, then entering the additional item into the electronic register, she stopped, and again, thinking about our order no doubt, looked at both of us like we were two-headed aliens. She then took our money, surrendered the change and headed into the kitchen area.

Once she got close to the kitchen she spoke in a loud voice filled with incredulity to the person in the kitchen, “You won’t be believin’ what just happened!”

“Some guy ordered French fries and then axed me for GRAVY!!!” 

“Gravy!!!”

 “Can you be believin’ that?” Tisking and clucking as she spoke the words with apparent shock.

In a loud voice dripping with her heavy accent she then opined, “I ain’t never been axed for gravy for fries ever before!” 

“Unbelievable!” the disembodied voice from the kitchen gasped.

She then offered up her reason for someone ordering such a combination of foods in a voice loud enough to be heard next door, “Must be from Minnesota!”

She returned with the small Styrofoam container of gravy placing it in front of my like it was a radioactive ball of uranium then turned and walked away (waddled really) shaking her head side to side in disbelief. We left laughing at the commentary we endured and I am sure if we had asked for some cheese to go with the fries and gravy it would have tipped her over like a cow in a cow-tipping contest.



Not Quite KFC Gray (BUT CLOSE!)



1 cup chicken stock (Campbell's or Better Than Bouillon)
1 cup beef stock (Campbell's or Better Than Bouillon)
1/3 cup Dan Fells KFC seasoned coating mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil (used deep fry oil is best)
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp Accent (I know, I know! But it's in the KFC real thing)
Pinch of cayenne pepper


Place all dry ingredients in a 2 -3 qt sauce pan 


Add vegetable oil to dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk


Place pot over medium heat and continue to whisk to prevent it from sticking, cook for 3 minutes


Once the roux has cooked turn off heat and let cool for 10 minutes

Add the chicken and beef stock to the cooled roux and whisk vigorously to ensure it is very well incorporated and no lumps remain, return to medium heat


Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it comes to a light boil, then turn down heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes


Make some homemade french fries! 


Make some Dan Fell's KFC style chicken


Plate the chicken and fries then smother the fries with copious amounts of gravy and enjoy!!


Notes at bottom of page:

You have to use the Dan Fell KFC coating mix (see recipe elsewhere on this blog), plain flour won't do the trick

If the gravy is too thick, add some more stock

If the gravy is too thin, let it cook over very low heat, it will thicken as it ages on the stove

To get the colour correct use additional beef concentrate to get it to the proper colour

I have had best results with a Campbell's No Salt Chicken stock and Better Than Bouillon Beef concentrate combination. Some recipes call for the cubed bouillon (OXO I suppose) and in a pinch they will work too, just not as good

Cayenne is optional but I like its gentle hit along with the heat of the white pepper

I try to use the cooking oil and fond (stuff at bottom of pot) from a previous chicken fry to make the roux. Simply drain the oil ans save a cup of it and the cooked goodness at the bottom and freeze until needed.

Use Accent! Really...

Now, originally KFC gravy was made with the cooked coating and chicken goodness (fond) from the chicken fryers as a base for the gravy, over time, it seems they have gone to an insipid, tasteless, and joyless gravy mix for ease and profit I suppose.  If you use used oil and fond you can almost get back to the KFC gravy of old!!

Please let me know when you have tried the KFC recipes on the blog by posting a comment on the page.






Teriyaki Chicken Legs or Wings



This recipe is a hand-me-down from my mother.  Back when the Earth was still cooling chicken wings were available at the butcher shop for a very modest price and as such we ate them frequently. My mother cooked them up in quantities that could and did feed an army, and many of my friends became as addicted to them as I was - leftover teriyaki chicken wings were a particular hit with the high school lunch crowd in fact, (they went really well with the frozen oatmeal cookies she hid in the deepest recesses of our freezer chest).

We enjoyed chicken wings for years due to their reasonable cost (which complimented our lack of money) and the wonderfulness of Mom's teriyaki recipe, then came the Buffalo Chicken Wing frenzy. It turned an inexpensive meal into an occasional expensive treat, and for the most part chicken wing prices are still high due to the high demand the wing frenzy created, and the fact no enterprising farmer has developed a 12 winged chicken. Come on farmers!  There must be a 12 winged chicken lurking about in the lab at Monsanto's skunkworks that they'd be willing to cross breed with your Rhode Island Red!!! WE NEED CHEAPER WINGS!

As chicken wings climbed in price I was determined to find an alternative, a TASTY alternative, and chicken legs climbed to the top of the teriyaki list. As it turns out, legs are better for you on the fat to meat ratio and taste great too!

The size of chicken legs in the market have shrunk to the size of the wings of old (eaten at a KFC lately?) and they do nicely in a pool of teriyaki marinade as well as satisfying my wing craving - mostly. I have also used this for turkey wings, affectionately labelled Teriyaki Pterodactyl Wings and is that a mouthful, literally...
Teriyaki Pterodactyl Wings

Teriyaki Pterodactyl Wings

Teriyaki Chicken Legs Recipe


3 cups white wine
2 cups soy sauce
10 cloves crushed garlic
3 Tbsp grated ginger (fresh preferred or2 Tbsp ginger powder)
1/3 cup brown sugar (You can use Mirin in place of brown sugar for a real taste treat)
2 Tbsp Chili garlic paste
2 Tbsp sesame oil

In a plastic or stainless steel bowl mix all ingredients together.  Add meat and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, however overnight (24 hours) is best.
Once the chicken or beef or pork has marinated overnight, drain off liquid and place the meat on a baking tray.

Roast in 375° oven.

5 lbs chicken wings: cook 30 minutes, remove tray from oven, drain off liquid and turn over the wings, return tray to oven for 10 minutes longer.

5 lbs (20) chicken legs: Cook as with chicken wings, turn over at 15 minutes and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown.


Beef: cook (roast or grill) as preferred

Pork: cook (roast or grill) to well done (160° internal temperature)


Snowy Palms Resort 

Chicken Piccata


 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
 salt and pepper to season

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season chicken
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup water
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil (olive oil is the normal oil, but I prefer grapeseed oil)
1 large clove garlic, chopped
⅓ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small ones)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1 cup dry white wine

3 Tbsp capers, rinsed
 
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Place 1 chicken thigh between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound flat with a meat tenderizer or heavy pot. Get it to about ¼” thick then season both sides with salt and pepper. When the chicken is flattened it is now called an escallope (scallop). Chicken scallop? Oh those tricky French….
 
 
 

Add 2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon ground pepper to the flour and mix well, place seasoned flour on a wide bowl or plate.  

Mix egg and water together in a medium size bowl. Dip chicken into water/egg mixture, remove and place in flour.

Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter together with grapeseed oil. Once the melted butter begins to bubble, add half of the chicken and fry for 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and transfer to oven proof plate then place in to a pre-warmed 350 °F oven. Add the remaining chicken and fry 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and place in oven to keep warm.
 

Note: Once you place the chicken in the pan to fry, do not lift, peek or poke it. If you feel you need to “work it” simply shake the pan and return to the heat.  By leaving the chicken alone it will brown nicely and the dredge will stay in place better, making for a nicer browned piece of chicken.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoon of oil, leaving the browned flour in the pan. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

At this point add the wine, capers and the lemon juice, bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer for 3 minutes, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the last 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk into sauce. The sauce will thicken at this point and is ready once the butter is fully incorporated into the sauce.
 

When the sauce is ready, remove the chicken from the oven and place into the sauce, simmer and turn over pieces to coat all the chicken.

Remove chicken from pan and place on serving platter, pour remaining sauce and capers over chicken. You are done! Serve! Enjoy!


Pico de Gallo



Pico de gallo is a fresh raw tomato and garlic accompaniment, similar to salsa which is the cooked version I believe, and the variation of it is endless.  Every restaurant chef and family cook will prepared their own version of it and claim it to be the only authentic version worth trying. I like all the versions generally.

Pico de gallo is best served at room temperature so I take it out of the fridge an hour before it is time to eat, but I have also been known to take the bowl out of the fridge and snarf a bunch down without waiting. It is your choice as to what temperature you want to serve it at. 

Pico De Gallo

12 large Roma tomatoes (about 3 lbs), core removed (you can use beefsteak or other types as well)

2 - 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced fine (you choose the garlic intensity you prefer)
1 large onion

1- 3 jalapeno peppers (I like it hot and use 2-3 depending on how hot they are)


1 large bunch cilantro, washed and drained, stems removed

2 limes, squeezed, giving up about  1/4 cup juice and a confession

1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Finely mince the jalapeno and garlic, place into 3 quart glass or non reactive (stainless steel) metal bowl.

Dice tomatoes,  pour into bowl with the peppers.

Dice onion, pour into the bowl.

Finely mince the cilantro, pour into bowl.

Add half of the lime juice, salt and pepper and stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Taste and add more lime juice if desired as well as salt or pepper. I find 1 tsp salt works for me but I don't eat a lot of salt, so do whatever you want, it's your pico de gallo after all.

Serve with chips, crackers or whatever turns your crank. Use it to finish off a nice pork carnitas taco...

I use leftover pico de gallo as a flavouring for marinade with the addition of some cumin and orange juice for chicken or red wine and cumin for beef.  It also adds a great flavour to beef, or chicken stock based soups. That is of course if there is any leftover.


Enjoy...

Snowy Palms Resort