New York, NY
Cookbook: Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Why do you like it?: It's not only a memoir, it also includes her favorite recipes from important times in her life. Ms. Reichl is an amazing story teller and she knows a thing or two about food. The recipe for fried chicken is worth the long prep time.
Claritha's Fried Chicken
2 1/2 to 3lb chicken, cut up
3 cups buttermilk
2 onions, sliced thin
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup butter
Put chicken pieces in bowl and cover with salt. Let sit for 2 hours.
Remove chicken from salt, wash well, and put into a bowl with buttermilk and sliced onions. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Place flour, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a paper bag and shake to combine. Drain chicken one piece at a time and put in bag. Shake to coat thoroughly. Place on waxed paper. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated.
Leave for 1/2 hour to dry out and come to room temperature.
Melt shortening and butter in large skillet over high heat, add chicken pieces, and cover pan. Lower heat and cook 10 minutes. Turn and cook, uncovered, 8 minutes for breasts, 12 minutes for dark meat.
Test for doneness by piercing thigh; juices should run clear.