I have a love of the cooking of the Deep South, I would love one day to go over there and eat proper barbecue, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, collard greens, gumbo etc. I have been watching episode after episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives to pick up tips for the best places to go! I've also been watching Cooking For Real and although I find Sunny Anderson really really annoying the food looks so good!
I thought I would have a go at making something vaguely Southern in my own kitchen. Now we all know how terrified I am of deep fat frying so I looked for an alternative to Southern Fried Chicken and it seems you can bake pretty much anything. This chicken is cornflake crumbed, ew right? Nope, it was delicious and crunchy, totally worked. I then served this with a roast potato and okra salad and an old bay and sour cream dip and it was fantastic. Will definitely be making the chicken again.
Southern Baked Chicken (from www.simply-delicious.co.za)
4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
500ml (16.91 fluid ounces) buttermilk
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups cornflake crumbs (process the cornflakes in your food processor or place in a Ziploc bag and bash them with a rolling pin)
1/2 tsp salt
Coat the chicken with the buttermilk and spices and cover the bowl with cling-wrap. Allow to marinade in the fridge for up to 3 hours but no less than 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 220°c.
Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture but don’t take off all the buttermilk, leave enough on so that the crumbs have something to stick to.
Combine the crumbs with the salt and paprika and coat the chicken.
Place the chicken on a wire rack over a roasting tray and place in the oven.
Because the heat of the oven is so high, you’ll have to check on the chicken every 7-10 minutes to make sure it’s not burning. If the chicken is browning too much in the first 10 minutes, turn your oven down to 180°c. The chicken should be cooked after approximately 25 minutes, just cut into a piece and make sure the flesh closest to the bone is not pink.
Roasted Potato and Okra Salad (from Gourmet Magazine July 2005)
(Serves 6 as a side dish)
2lb small potatoes such as fingerling, red, or yellow-fleshed
1 large bunch scallions, white parts halved lengthwise and remainder reserved for another use
2 large fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3/4lb small (2- to 3-inch) okra
2 cups shelled fresh broad beans (2 1/2 lb in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame
1 cup fresh corn (from 1 to 2 ears)
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
Roast potatoes and okra:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.
Halve potatoes lengthwise and toss with scallion pieces, rosemary sprigs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread potato mixture in a large roasting pan and roast, stirring once, 20 minutes. Stir potatoes and add okra to pan, tossing to coat. Continue to roast until okra and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes more.
Cook beans and corn while potatoes roast:
Cook beans in 1 quart (unsalted) boiling water in a 3- to 4-quart pot 3 minutes, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Gently peel off skins.
Return water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt, then cook corn until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain corn in a sieve and immediately transfer to bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain corn again.
Make dressing and assemble salad:
Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, chopped rosemary, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl until combined. Discard rosemary sprigs, then add hot potatoes and okra to dressing along with beans, corn, and salt to taste, tossing to combine. Cool salad to warm before serving.