Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I can't make it stick. *updated!*

Dear Tricia, I am decent in the kitchen...however, I have yet to learn how to bread something and get it to stick to the meat...got any clues on that?

Ah… dredging. That’s what the act of sticking stuff to meat is called, at least. It’s no longer the sound of your feet as you make your way into your crappy cubicle job every day.
There are 3 easy steps and 3 easy ingredients to perfect dredging. You will need 3 dishes for your newly-discovered holy trinity of breading methods: eggs, flour, and bread crumbs. (Or panko, or cornmeal, or whatever it is that you have chosen to bread your dinner with.)
Set up a little assembly line of dredging on your countertop. Let’s pretend you’re making cornmeal fried chicken, just like your old Aunt Gussie use to make. (I’ll save the story of when she got drunk and flushed her dentures down the toilet that one Christmas for another time.)

From left to right, you will have:
1) Thawed chicken
2) A dish of seasoned flour (use salt and pepper and whatever sparks your fancy. Get creative. Clean out the spice cabinet. Just make sure it’s a dry ingredient. No Sriracha or Budweiser.)
3) A dish of a couple of beaten eggs with a little water mixed in to thin it out. You’ll need to beat it really good, like the domestic abuse guys in the backseat of the squadron car on COPS say to. Make sure it’s a blended mixture, without any gross egg white boogers.
4) A dish of cornmeal. Season it with your fancy pants seasonings that Aunt Gussie’s recipes call for. Or just use salt and pepper if that’s all you have. But you MUST season season season!
So now your assembly line is rarin’ to go and you simply coat the chicken in 1) the flour, and then 2) the egg, and then 3)the cornmeal. At this point, the cornmeal is so attracted to that gorgeous floured, egged chicken thigh that it’s not going anywhere.

Here’s another helpful hint if you’re not overwhelmed by all of the new vocabulary and domestic abuse references: use your left hand for handling the egg-y chicken, and your right hand for handling the floured or cornmeal’d chicken. This way you have one hand for wet stuff and one for dry stuff and won’t bread your fingers and make a giant mess and waste time having to wash your hands every 30 seconds. Because we all know that at this point, you’re way behind on your dinner party, and everyone’s already hungry and drunk in your living room.

My mother read this blog and wondered why use "the holy trinity" on fried green tomatoes. At first I thought she was questioning the holy trinity reference because she works in a church and I was being a blasphemous daughter, but she's right. With fried green tomatoes, you don't always need to dredge in all 3. Some recipes call for flour, egg, and cornmeal, and some just call for cornmeal. That's the great thing about cooking: there is no right and wrong: it's all about what works for you. Stick with what you like. (No pun intended.)

No comments: