Guess what I still have from last year's garden!? Miniature spaghetti squash!
They've just been sitting in a basket for "decoration" - I don't know why I haven't eaten 'em yet. They've sure held up well though...although once I cut one open I could see they knew spring is on it's way - a couple of the seeds were starting to sprout!
I know, I know - the blog posting title is "yummy fried goodness" - and we're not frying spaghetti squash. What's the dealio!?
So I picked up buttermilk recently because I was craving some fried chicken. Following the recipe in the new Martha Stewart book Brett got me for my birthday, I added cayenne pepper and dried mustard powder to buttermilk, tossed in boneless skinless chicken breasts (she called for bone-in), and let it all marinate in the fridge. Now it was only supposed to marinate for up to 24 hours, but things didn't work out, and so it went more like 48. Oh well - it certainly didn't harm the chicken...if anything, it might've kept the meat moister while frying!
Then you take the meat out of the marinade and let it sit on a rack to drain for about an hour - this brings it closer to room temp (for more even cooking), and lets the buttermilk remaining on the chicken get tacky. The chicken is then dredged in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper for just a hint of heat.
Here are the breasts fresh out of the oil... I actually used a stick thermometer to check each of their temps and make sure they were cooked too perfection (about 160F).
Some parts got a little darker than others - it seems like those were mostly where the breading buckled away from the meat a little and let the oil in between the meat and the breading. Did it taste burned? Not really!
Anyhow, to round out the meal, I was having spaghetti squash nuked in the microwave, steamed broccoli (mostly for Brett, who won't eat the squash, but I had a little as well), leftover mashed potatoes that Brett had made when his parents were over the previous weekend, annnnd to top it all off, some turkey gravy (yes, I cheated, it's from a pack).
Ok, there was no way I was gonna try to eat that chicken whole while sitting in front of the TV (is this how most of you eat your dinners these days? or do you sit at the dining table like a wholesome family?). So there's the cut up chicken - see how moist and tender the meat looks? This was some tasty stuff!
Now we only ate two of the breasts. Later I'll show you how I used up one of the leftover breasts - NOT something you'd normally think of with home cooking, but daaaaamn was it good!