Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chicken and fries


       What's better than a dinner that include fries? And no, I'm not talking about your good ole burger and fries deal. I'm talking about homemade french fries. Yes, there is such a thing. Home made fries with some chicken in garlic/tomato sauce on top. It's just so. Sinfully. Good.  I would just like to include a small but kind side note at this juncture and excuse the quality of the pictures for this post. They basically suck balls.  I don't know why but the camera gods were just not cooperating with me today and no matter what setting and angle I took the pictures in, they were just not coming out as they should. Plus the food was gonna get cold so I said fuck it and just started grubbin'.  So yeah, sorry for the not so great quality pics but I assure you, it was delicious. :D

      So the chicken:

    Our poultry today was actually rooster, the neighbors rooster in fact given to us as a gift (RIP Cockadoodle). Does it taste better than the nasty crap-fed, cage-living chickens they sell at the stores? You best your sweet beak it does BUT...keep in mind that true free range poultry will be a tad tougher so they'll need a little longer to cook but even when their meat is falling off the bone, they will be just a little chewier and gamier but a whole lot tastier. I realize most people don't have a neighbor that has chicken running around but you can request a free range chicken from your local butcher if you can. Bottom line, just know where your bird is coming from as much as you can.

    So, cut your bird into your desired pieces, season it well, generously pour some extra virgin olive oil in a pot and place your pieces in the oil once it's well heated. Cook on both sides until it's a nice golden color.  Add your garlic. Lot's of it. Seriously. I think I literally used about a head and a half of garlic for this rooster. Mince, slice, chop, do whatever you want.. You can put it in a blender at the end (like I did) and just blend it all together anyway.  So, once you add your garlic, let it cook in the oil for no more than about a minute and then add your grated, fresh tomatoes (I used about 3-4 medium sized tomatoes for this). You can also add onions to this but this time around I decided to keep it even more simpler and just go with the garlic. Season, add a few bay leafs and about 2 sticks of cinnamon (or about a teaspoon of ground). That's it. Let it come to a boil and once it done, reduce the heat and leave it alone for about an hour and a half to two. Check and stir occasionally and make sure the sauce is always at a low simmer. Once the meat can easily be detached from the bones, you're ready. Now, like I said before, I went ahead and took the sauce (omitted the bay leaf of course) and passed it through the blender briefly so the garlic, oil and tomato can really come together and it becomes one smooth uniform sauce. Definitely not necessary but what can I say....I got into restaurant mode for a second there...

    Now the french fries.

Ah, the fries. OK, let me just start off by saying that if you're gonna bust out with any of that crappy frozen pre-cooked McCain fries bull, don't even bother. If you're gonna use store bought frozen fries for this lovely meal, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.  This sauce is GREAT with any type of pasta, rice, mashed name it so if you're thinking of using pre cooked potatoes for this, I highly recommend you rethink you starch option all together. Home made fries are so easy that there really isn't any excuse to not make them.  All you do is peel, cut, salt and fry. You can use a pan or even a pot to avoid any oily mess, fill it up with some frying oil (we actually use olive oil but since it is a pricey oil, this is about the only time I personally condone using any other kind of oil for cooking....but that's just silly old me.) Turn your pan on and let the oil get nice and hot. Once it's hot (test it with a fry. Drop one in and if it starts to sizzle and bubble immediately, you're good to go). drop your fries in. The only pointer I can give is to NOT overcrowd your pan with fries because it will bring the temperature of the oil down causing your potatoes to steam in oil instead of fry. Also, once you drop them in, spread them around the pan and then leave. Them. Alone. Don't start poking and trying to turns your potatoes too early cause they will break. Don't freak out if they momentarily stick to the bottom of the pan. They will unstick once they cook. Once they start to become a nice golden color, turn them. All you're trying to do is making sure that the cook evenly on each side. Your heat is important. You don't want your fries to get color too fast without them being cooked thoroughly inside. You want your oil on a steady medium to high heat. If your oil is smoking up, then lower your heat.

    Alright so now you're done! Once your fries are done place them in a bowl with some kitchen towels so they can absorb any excess oil and you're ready to go to town. I personally love putting the sauce all over the fries as well as the chicken and sprinkling some parmezan or pecorino romano cheese over it all.

    Soooo good and garlicky. Again, sorry for the craptastic pics....but the taste made up for it!




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