Monday, July 8, 2013

National Fried Chicken Day: A Guide to Celebrating Responsibly

by Micaela Rosinski, intern contributor

Last week, many went on vacation, enjoyed fireworks, and celebrated what it means to be an American. In a great time of patriotic display, it is a little known fact two days after Independence Day marked National Fried Chicken Day.

The origins of the July 6 holiday are fuzzy, but the reason to celebrate is clear; fried chicken is great. It is believed European immigrants brought the practice of deep frying chicken in a batter to the United States. The rest is history.

Did you miss the fried food fiesta? No worries. Any day is a great day to heat up some oil and indulge in this fried treat. Observe the following safety tips while preparing your fried chicken.

  1. The perfect temperature for frying is between 350 and 375 degrees.
  2. Never fill the pot more than half way with oil in order to ensure it will not overflow once chicken is added.
  3. Making sure chicken is patted dry will minimize the amount of water, decreasing the amount of splattering oil while cooking.
  4. In the event of a fat fire, extinguish it by either placing a lid over pot or using baking soda. Better yet, keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency.
  5. Dispose of used cooking oil properly. Place oil in a container and throw in the garbage. Also wipe residual oil from pots and pans before washing.
  6. Be hungry! It would be a shame to make such a wonderful meal and not have an empty stomach to put it in.
Finally, a great recipe is necessary. My dad is the chef of all chefs. I personally think he missed his calling. Naturally, fried chicken is in his repertoire. The go-to recipe is typically a variation of one created by famous chef, Thomas Keller.  If you are in need of a recipe, I highly recommend the following for a gourmet take on an American classic.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
And don’t forget the tunes. My personal song selection would be Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band. 

Although the holiday is past, fire up the oil, prepare you chicken, and get cooking! Happy eating!

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