Delaware is a small state with both an agricultural and fishing backbone. While it doesn't have a particularly distinctive cuisine, it's known for a few distinct dishes, among them steamed burgers (really!), slipper dumplings (wide noodles cooked in a chicken gravy), creamed chipped beef, apple cider donuts and Capriotti's Bobbie, a sandwich that puts turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce altogether in a bun (don't knock it 'til you try it, I'm sure). Delaware grows peaches, so peach desserts, particularly peach pie, is often in the menu. They're also known for their crabs and oysters.
For my quick sojourn into Delawarean cuisine, I made:
Delaware Fried Chicken
Delaware, to my great surprise as someone who lives in California and has never set food in the state, is a chicken state. They have poultry farms, poultry festivals and a plethora of fried chicken joints. While I like fried chicken well enough, I am not fond of deep frying as I see it as a waste of oil and an opportunity to get burned. Still, I had used oil left over from other deep-frying adventures, so I figure I'd give this particular method a try. It worked very well - the chicken was moist and had a very crispy skin (though it didn't feel like it would crisp up until the end), though keeping the oil at 350°F was a challenge. It's definitely a dish you shouldn't try without a thermometer.
This chicken was pretty mildly flavored, so I think you could increase all of the seasonings by half.
Delaware Fried Chicken
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 3 - 4 lbs chicken pieces
- 2 - 3 cups cooking oil
- 2 slices bacon
Place flour, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper in a large sealable plastic bag or paper sack and shake to mix. Working two pieces at the time, pat dry the chicken pieces, place them in the bag and shake until the chicken is coated with the seasoned flour
Heat oil in a large frying pan, saute pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon slices and continue heating until it reaches the temperature of 360°F in a candy thermometer. Remove bacon.
Working in batches if necessary, so as to not overcrowd the chicken, place chicken in the hot oil, skin side down. Cover and adjust temperature so the oil still bubbles. Cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes, adjusting temperature as necessary. Turn chicken pieces, cover again and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Remove chicken to a wire rack or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt to taste and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Sam Sifton's recipe at Today
Cuisines from other states: American, Alabamian, Arizonan,Californian, Connecticuter, Delawarean, Floridian, Hawaiian, Idahoan, Illinoisan, Kansan
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