I did it again. I found myself standing in the grocery store, staring at a food I knew nothing about but was so cheap with its clearance price that I found myself putting it into my cart and bringing it home with me.
This time, my frugality meter was set off by a quart of low-fat goat?s milk.
As the granddaughter of a dairyman, I?ve drank gallons of cow?s milk throughout my life, but goat?s milk was a new one for me.
After I got home, I eagerly poured a tiny bit into a glass to try it, and I quickly discovered that my palate was not ready to drink goat?s milk by the glass, so I went to the Internet, assuming it would give me loads of ideas.
Unfortunately, I came up pretty empty. Almost every recipe I found called for full-fat goat?s milk to make cheese or yogurt.
I enlisted the help of some friends, and they assured me that I could use it in baking and anywhere that I may want a little bit of a tangy, salty flavor.
As I looked through recipes I?ve been meaning to try, the idea of using goat?s milk to make fried chicken became appealing, so I decided to see if it would turn out well, and it did.
The recipe I used is loosely based on one for fried chicken from ?Food and Wine? magazine from their Feb. 2007 issue. You can find it online at http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/supercrispy-pan-fried-chicken.
Super-crispy Pan-fried Chicken
4 chicken leg quarters
1 quart low-fat goat?s milk (or use buttermilk)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
about 1/2 quart vegetable oil, for frying (it should come up the side about an inch)
Place the leg quarters into a large plastic bag with a zipper top along with the next four ingredients (milk, garlic, pepper and salt). Squish it around a little to make sure the leg quarters are coated and store it in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the leg quarters in a large colander or on a rack positioned over a rimmed baking sheet.
Begin heating the vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet (I used my cast iron, and it worked perfectly). Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne in a large plastic bag with a zipper top.
Once they?re well-drained, place the leg quarters, one at a time, into the bag. Seal the bag and shake to coat the chicken with the mixture. Squeeze and press the chicken to make sure the flour mixture is well-adhered.
Carefully place the chicken into the 350-degree oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. (I had to do mine in two batches. If you want them all to be done at once, use two pans.) The temperature will drop. Keep it at about 325 degrees while you cook.
Fry for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the chicken every 10 minutes or so, until a thermometer stuck into a thick portion reads 165 degrees and the chicken is golden and crispy.
Drain the chicken on paper towels, and serve warm.
Good luck with frying up your chicken, whether you make yours with goat?s milk or not. Ours was delicious, and while I?m not ready to abandon my love of cow?s milk quite yet, I am willing to say that those goats can fry up a mean chicken.
By Lindsey Young