Sunday, February 5, 2012

made in america

My new quest is to consciously and assertively pursue purchasing items that are made in our country, the beloved U.S. of A. I firmly believe that if we commit to undoing the damaged mindset of passitivity and consumers put their money by supporting products made with our own hands, this could create substantial growth and pride that once built our nation into the most powerful country in the world. World News Tonight provides an excellent media promotion for this simple cure and I am convinced if we all unite with the same purpose we could positively make a difference. We must make every effort to make the change we all crave in our land of liberty.
 Today I made my first purchase that is made in Tennessee ~ a cast iron chicken fry pan.  This coveted item had to be made here for it depicts good old fashioned cooking in a good old fashioned tool.   
I have been researching ideas for the perfect recipe for frying chicken and they all call for a cast iron skillet.  I intended to scour Wiltons or Bed Bath and Beyond and just so happened upon this one at Walmart.  I saw the American flag tag and searched no further.
In 1896, in a tiny town along the banks of the Tennessee River, Joseph Lodge began a cast iron cookware foundry and put in place an enduring standard of quality.  The resulting privately held metal formula, precision molds, and exacting wall thickness produce the finest cast iron cookware available.  Not even the most expensive stainless or aluminum cookware can rival the even heating, retention, durability, healtfulness and value of Lodge Cast Iron.  Its legendary cooking performance keeps it on the list of kitchen essentials for great chefs and home cooks alike. 
Good Old Fashioned Fried Chicken

12" cast iron skillet
drip pan
peanut oil
3 eggs
2 cups self-rising flour
3-4 lb. bird

Prepare the rub prior to the day of cooking.  Rub consists of seasonings you prefer and can be stored for quite awhile.  I am preparing a concoction of paprika, cayenne, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. 

It has been advised to use a smaller bird so the pieces cook more evenly, no more than 4 pounds.  I bought one pre-cut bird as well as a pack of chicken legs and another of breasts for variety.

After rinsing and pat drying the chicken pieces, apply rub and store in plastic baggie overnight. 

In a medium bowl, beat the egs with a 1/3 cup buttermilk.  In another bowl, combine the flour with a little seasoning such as salt and pepper or a bit of the rub.  Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg mixture, then coat well in the flour mixture.  Heat the oil to 350 degrees in the cast iron pan but do not fill the pot more than half full with peanut oil.  Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp.  Dark meat takes longer than white meat.  It should take 9 - 14 minutes for dark and 8 - 10 minutes for white.
Use tongs to turn the chicken and remove from pan when finished cooking.  Keep on a drip pan to remove excessive oil. 
I hope you join me in this endeavor to make mindful choices when spending our hard-earned money ~ let's put it back in our own pockets.  Try it! xo