May 17th, 2010

thinky tim


I was going to write an entry about my angst over failing to save the world (insert self-mocking hyperbole here) due to how my employment by an institution results in my complicity with the institution, and how I know it must be possible for me to use my (limited but existent) power as a cog in the machine to do some substantial good, but I haven't been able to figure out how yet. I was going to - but I'm feeling tired and not really up to that level of self-dissection, plus I have a best friend (and, not so incidentally, roommate) who is willing to sit and look at me and listen to me, even though he doesn't know how to solve my problem, and for now that's actually what I need.

So, instead, I will share a recipe for oven-fried chicken that makes me wiggle with pleasure.

As always, I have some tweaks: first, use as much salt as you are comfortable with, rather than what's written. The recipe calls for soaking the chicken in water with 2 tablespoons of salt, then adding 1 tablespoon of salt to the flour coating, then sprinkling with salt before serving. While I know that the chicken doesn't pick up most of the salt in the water or the flour, that still seems like way too much to me. I went ahead and used the 2 tablespoons in the soaking water, but reduced the salt in the coating to a teaspoon, and didn't add any salt after cooking - and it still was a bit too salty for my taste. (I did add a tablespoon of lemon pepper to the flour mixture, but it was this salt-free blend.) My recommendation would be to keep the salt when soaking the chicken, because it seems to do some sort of useful brining action; but eliminate the salt in the flour coating. You can always add salt to taste afterward.

I supplemented the chicken with white cheddar macaroni and cheese (note that I used 1% milk instead of whole, because that's what I have on hand, and it tastes fine and creamy enough to me), and oven-baked asparagus. (Toss asparagus spears with a teaspoon or so of olive oil - just enough to lightly coat - and sprinkle a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, while you heat the oven to 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit. Put your baking sheet/pan in the oven while it preheats, so when you drop the asparagus in it sizzles. Bake the asparagus for at least 5 minutes, no more than 10, until just tender.)

And now I'm drinking the blackberry soda I had with dinner, and I'm feeling pretty content.

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