I have slightly mixed feelings about Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, the current Cook the Books Club selection. I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it, and I can see myself going back to re-read bits often. Unfortunately, with the pleasure of discovering a new author and a new book came the discovery that Laurie Colwin died tragically young and I will never get to take her out for a drink.
And she really does come across as someone you'd like to take out for a drink. Warm, funny, down-to-earth with a sharp eye for human foibles. The food she writes about is very much home cooking - straightforward, accessible, inexpensive ingredients and things that people actually like eating. Which, sadly, is not the case in a lot of cook books.
It took me quite a while to decide what to make. I was intrigued by angostura bitters in a salad dressing, but I haven't been brave enough. I've made Black Cake before and it was utterly delicious, but not the sort of thing I want to have hanging around the house this far away from Christmas. I've been intrigued by the notion of Sussex Pond Pudding for years, but the weather just hasn't been playing ball with the idea of a boiled pudding.
Then I saw Felicity Cloake use Laurie Colwin's fried chicken recipe in her How to Cook Perfect... series, and decided that I would give it a go.
My previous best endeavours with fried chicken have all been in seasoned flour, rather than batter or breadcrumbs, so I felt OK about that bit. What was a total departure for me was shallow frying, crowding the pan and covering it.
|Apparently having the pan slightly crowded is a good thing|
But you know what? I am a total convert. The chicken (I used bone-in chicken thighs) was tender and moist inside, with a really properly crunchy outside. And because for the majority of the cook time the lid is on the pan, the whole house doesn't smell like frying. So I am very happy to send this to our book club host Deb as my contribution to the Home Cooking feast!
|I did some fried pickles too|