Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fried Chicken and Acorn Squash

I cane home exhausted today and too tired to do any major dishes. Then I realized I had a chicken defrosting in the refrigerator, so I decided to do a repeat of the fried chicken I'd done at my friend's house. It turned out OK, but this time, one piece was undercooked. Well, at least it was only the one. It was quickly remedied with a 2 minute visit to the microwave.

Fried Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (remove bones from breast meat)

1-2 inches hot oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Pour the oil into (ideally) a cast iron pan, then heat until oil is suitably hot. (A drop of water should crackle in it.) Meanwhile, season the chicken. Once oil is hot, place chicken in pan, drumsticks facing toward the center and thighs right next to them. If there is room, breast pieces should be on the outside. Fry chicken for up to ten minutes on each side. Remove and drain. Serves three to four, depending on the number of pieces per person.

I am a firm believer that a cook should know how to use a slow cooker and a microwave with equal skill. And yes, I can do both. When I looked at my original acorn squash recipe and realized it took an hour and a half to cook, I decided I needed to microwave it instead. All the goodness, very little of the waiting.

Microwave Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash, split in half, seeds removed

3 heaping teaspoons brown sugar

1-2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup water

Spread a few chunks of butter around the cut edges of the squash halves, then mix the rest with the brown sugar and put into the hollows of each half. Place halves in a microwave safe container, add water, cover, and microwave for 8-10 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool slightly and serve. Serves two.