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Fried Chicken Perfect for Watching Football Games

Who doesn't love extra-crispy old-school fried chicken? Here's a faster way to prepare it.

2 chicken drumsticks, skin on2 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
3 to 4 cups milk
2 1/4 cups solid vegetable shortening, for frying
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten

In a medium pan, place chicken and cover with milk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. This helps tenderize the meat, but is optional

In a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, using tongs, transfer chicken into pot, then pour in the milk. Bring milk to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low allowing to simmer until the chicken is cooked through entirely, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the milk, and place on a rack to cool. Allow them to sit until warm about 15 minutes, and then pat dry using a kitchen towel.

Heat vegetable shortening in a Dutch oven over high heat just until it's nearly at the smoking point around 325 degrees F.

In a large zip-lock bag, add salt, flour, cayenne pepper, shake to combine.

In a medium bowl, beat 1 egg.

Place each piece of chicken, 1 at a time, in the bag and shake to coat the chicken. Then dip chicken into the egg to coat. Place the chicken back into the flour to coat for a second time. Repeat this method on remaining 3 pieces of chicken.

Gently drop each piece of chicken into hot oil, allowing the skin to crisp and turn golden brown in color, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately.


Chocolate Fudge Cake for Comfort and Tailgating!

This is the sort of cake you'd want to eat the whole of when you'd been chucked. But even the sight of it, proud and tall and thickly iced on its stand, comforts.

It's also great for tailgating!


for the cake

  • 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • ½ cup corn oil
  • 1 ¼ cups chilled water

for the fudge icing

  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Nothing Says Summer Like Ribs

These ribs can be done with baby back or regular pork ribs or beef ribs. I have also made split chickens this way. The ribs are tender, moist and just slide off of the bone. I know that your family will love them just as much as my family does. I noticed that some are unable to find hickory smoked salt. You can use smoked paprika or just brush the ribs with liquid smoke before applying the rub. The smoke flavor is nice because it helps give the ribs a cooked-on-the-grill flavor. Also, the easiest way to remove the membrane is to work a spoon, or I use the tips of my kitchen shears, into the bottom center of the membrane, work it back and forth to form a "pocket," then I slide my thumbs in and work the membrane off from the center outward to the ends.

Servings 6

    4 lbs pork ribs
    3⁄4 cup light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt
    1 tablespoon paprika
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
    2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce (mine is Sweet Baby Ray)


  •     Preheat oven to 300 degrees f.
  •     Peel off tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs.
  •     Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub.
  •     Apply rub to ribs on all sides.
  •     Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.
  •     Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal.
  •     Place on baking sheet, bake for 2-2.5 hours until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of  bone.
  •     Remove from oven.
  •     Heat broiler.
  •     Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.
  •     Arrange on broiler pan, bony side up.
  •     Brush on sauce.
  •     Broil for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.
  •     Turn ribs over.
  •     Repeat on other side.

    Alternately, you can grill the ribs on your grill to cook on the sauce.


Less-Than-Perfect-Strawberries Make Great Almond Crumble

If I’d had to choose one thing that cooking could not make better, I’d have put good money on its being a bad (as in unripe and tasteless) strawberry (strawbuggers). I’d be embarrassed even to own up to trying to improve it, were it not for the fact that I read an article by Saint Simon of Hopkinson in which he advised using said strawbuggers in a pie. So I did. Well, that’s not quite true: I am lazier than he is, so I made a crumble. I don’t know what, how or why it happened, but this is a crumble of dreams. The oven doesn’t, as you’d think, turn theberries into a red-tinted mush of slime, but into berry-intense bursts of tender juiciness. This is nothing short of alchemy: you take the vilest, crunchiest supermarket strawberries, top them with an almondy, buttery rubble, bake and turn them on a cold day into the taste of English summer. Naturally, serve with lashings of cream: I regard this is as obligatory not optional.


for the filling:

  • 1 lb strawberries (hulled)
  • ¼ cup superfine sugar
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract

for the topping:

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter (diced)
  • 1 ¼ cups slivered almonds
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • heavy cream (to serve)



Nothing Says Dessert Like Chocolate Sheet Cake

What's not to love about a sheet cake? it’s a great way to feed a lot of people and, in my book, the more people get to eat cake, the better. I’ve simplified what is an already simple approach, so that both cake, and icing/frosting are made in saucepans on the stovetop: in other words, no creaming and multi-stepped process, just melting, stirring and pouring. What’s more, this is an infinitely variable recipe and a gratifyingly reliable one.

Traditional sheet cakes require buttermilk for sponge element, and this kind of icing/frosting needs regular milk. Rather than send you (or me) to the shops for an extra ingredient, I simply turn fresh milk into buttermilk by adding vinegar to the milk before I get on with the rest of the cake. It’s obviously not worth using an expensive vinegar, and if you wanted, you could equally use lemon juice. By the time you come to use it, the milk-now-buttermilk will look like a curdled mess, and that’s a good thing! The buttermilk is what helps keep the cake crumb so tender.

The batter is runny – and is meant to be, that’s what helps its fudgy texture later – and the cake will look woefully shallow once this mixture is poured into the tin. Do not be alarmed: it will rise, but not enormously; this is meant to be a shallow cake.  It’s perfect for bake sales, birthdays, indeed any celebration, and now I happily offer it to you as a celebration of, and thanks, for reaching 1 million of you on my Facebook page.


for the cake

  • ½ cup whole milk or semi-skimmed / 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup soft unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the icing/frosting

  • ¼ cup soft unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or semi-skimmed / 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners' sugar (sieved)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

to decorate

sprinkles of your choice

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