Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Fried chicken, with an Alsatian twist

This is my recipe to take part for my first time to the MTChallenge, which I follow monthly since years ago.
This month's challenge is Silvia's fried chicken.

First of all, I want to say a big Thank You to Elisa Baker, for all her support. She knows what I mean.

So here I am.
Still can't believe it.

I opened a blog. A cooking blog. Me.
Yes, Me.

When I entered in the Blogger platform, my first thought went to my mom. She's the one who simply doesn't tollerate when somebody takes pictures of food. Take notes, -she use to say- taste it, touch it, feel it, remember it, but don't take pictures. 
Don't ask, I don't know why.
This only means that she will never have the link of this blog.
Don't tell her.😉

Then, I thought about my husband and my niece. They do have a cooking blog, an amazing one. It's supposed that I had to publish my recipes in their blog. They are going to get mad. 
They will know about it at my first publication.😊

Which is today....

Why The Nomade Kitchen?
Because I used to live in France, in Strasbourg. I had a very quiet life until I decided to get engaged (once again) with my very first love who's such a great man, brilliant, clever, handsome, gifted in many ways...but a bit crazy and nomade, indeed. Now that we got married, I don't even know where do I live. Still in France? In Israel? In India, where I'm writing from?
A question that is impossible to answer. I don't even try. And, honestly speaking, I don't care.
I only enjoy the view from the planes, beginning to enjoy my new nomade life and nomade kitchen. With a nomade husband. Who can't live without my nomade niece, and so on.

I'm not going to bore you more. Let's talk about this fried chicken.  

I've carefully read the rules for this challenge but it happens that I'm a quite observant jew and we use to not mix milk and meat. Never. I know, we're very complicated people in food issues.

So, no buttermilk for me in the marinate. I thought that I should maybe skip this month, but they reassured me that for me the buttermilk was not an obligation.  Thank you!!
To not betray my "Strasbourgeoises" origins what did I do? Take a guess.
I used beer, of course!
Then, I meditated on giving an Alsatian twist to the whole dish. That's why I choose potato crumbs to breading. And Onion and beer sauce and braised cabbage for complements.

WARNING: I don't feel to be worthy of others MTChallengers level. When I cook, I just follow my feelings. I have not any geniality in cooking. Just simple things, with simple ingredients.
Actually, I don't cook. I fix lunches or dinners to feed my loved ones.
Just to say that I'm here only to play, enjoy, learning from others and...because my niece pushed me!

Now it's time for the recipe. It goes like this:

The breaded fried chicken with an Alsatian twist:

I made just one chicken, half my way, the other half in Silvia's way

Myriam's Braised red cabbage with apples.
This is a very traditional Alsatian recipe. The original one also asks for chestnut but only in season. Some add "lardons" (small bacon dice), bay leaves, juniper berries and cloves.
This is my mother's version, from a poorer and simpler jewish kitchen.

1 red cabbage
100 g schmaltz
1 big minced onion
4 "reinette" apples (I used Gala)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
500 ml red wine (I used Sula, a local Indian Cabernet)
250 g chestnuts (didn't use them)
salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar

Cut the cabbage in four and take the tough parts off. Cut it in thin stripes.
Mix the cabbage with the salt, sugar and vinegar and let it marinate overnight. The vinegar has the task to fix the cabbage color.
The day after, melt the schmaltz in a oven proof pan and sauté the onion. When it's soft, add the cabbage and pour the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the the pan with its lid and put it simmer in the oven at 180° for one hour.
If using, make a deep cut on the chestnut skin and deep fry them for 3 or four minutes. Peel them when still hot paying special attention to eliminate the thin black skin. You can also use frozen or canned chestnut but believe me, the taste will neve be the same.
Incorporate the chestnuts to the cabbage in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Peel and cut the apples. You can choose as you like cut them in cubes or in 8 wedges. I prefer the cubes, but it's your choice. Add the apples to the pan 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.
The dish is done when no cooking juice is left. It has to be moist but with no extra liquid.

Roasted Onion and beer sauce
When you use beer, food may tend to be bitter. You can balance this with a pinch of sugar or in other sweet ways, as using roasted or caramelized onions. Don't use the beer from the marinade, open a new one, same kind.
I only find red onions here, but yellow or white ones suit better.

Extra virgin Olive oil
2 large onion, unpeeled , quartered
250 ml blonde beer (Leffe, for me)
freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat your oven at 200°C.
In a baking tray, lay down the onions quarters, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. I don't peel them because of the smoky flavour of the roasted peels, which is irresistible to me.
Bake the onions until tender and surface is golden brown. It will be about half an hour.
Transfer the onion to a blender and puree until smooth.
In a saucepan, pour the beer and bring to a boil over high heat until reduced to the half. Add the onion puree. Correct the seasoning if needed. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
Heat the sauce just before serving, being careful to not to boil.

His Majesty the fried chicken itself

1 Whole chicken, cut in pieces (I didn't weigh it)


1 blonde beer (Leffe for me)
1 celery stalk, whole, with leaves on
1 carrot, peeled, cut in chunks
1 leek, cut in chunks
some juniper berries
some good black peppercorns

Combine all ingredients and put your chicken pieces to take a relaxing bath for 3 hours. Beer is very powerful for marinades, You can also leave it overnight but you will find your meat with an ugly grey color and a mushy texture.
Turn the chicken often lo let penetrate the marinade everywhere.

Potato chips crumbs

1kg potatoes
4 tablespoons schmaltz, melted
2 teaspoons powdered onion
salt to taste
pepper to taste

3 eggs
100 g flour
lot of schmalz for frying

First, make your crumbs. You can make this ahead and store them in airtight container for weeks.
Preheat you oven at 190°C. Slice potatoes into 3mm slices and toss them with the melted schmaltz, onion powder and a little salt. In a baking sheet, arrange them in a single layer. Bake about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Now, season again with salt and pepper to taste. For the maximum crispiness, transfer them immediately to a wire rack to let them cool.
When cool, do not succumb to the temptation to eat them all. Forget it. 
Grind them in a food processor until obtaining a coarse powder, like sand. Set aside, or store it.

Now, Remove chicken from the marinade, shake it to eliminate the excess and let it drain on a rack for about half an hour. Discard marinade.
Prepare everything you need: a plate with the flour, a bowl with the beaten eggs, another plate with the crumbs. You will also need a plate to lay down the breaded chicken and another one lined with kitchen paper towels, to put the just fried pieces.
Only then, you can proceed.
Be sure your chicken has dripped off any excess of marinade. You also can throughly wipe it with paper towel to make sure the coating adhere.

Breaded chicken before frying

Roll the chicken trough the flour.
Dip each piece in the beaten eggs. Hold the piece over the bowl and shake it to eliminate the excess.
Roll each piece in the crumbs, pressing on to make them adhere properly. 
Put them on a plate while you finish coating all your pieces.
Now, let's have fun.
Take your frying pan. A cast iron one, for me.
Melt the schmaltz and heat it until reach 180°C.
Fry your chicken few pieces at time, until beautiful golden brown.
Let drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
Season with salt after frying.
Keep the chicken warm in the oven at 120° while you finish frying.

Enjoy it dipped in the onion sauce, accompanied by the braised cabbage.

Breaded fried chicken. Internal view .

For Silvia's floured fried chicken:

same beer marinade as the previous recipe
1/2 chicken cut in pieces
100 g flour
schmaltz for frying

Floured chicken before frying

Proceed as above to remove the chicken from the marinade and let it drain.
Mix flour, salt and pepper in a large food storage bag.
Insert the chicken pieces and shake it until perfectly coated.

Floured fried chicken. Internal view

Deep fry in schmaltz heated at 180°C, three pieces at time.
Let it drain on a plate, lined with paper towel to eliminate the excess of fat.
Keep it warm in the oven at 120°, while you finish frying.


  1. What a great surpirise today!! I thank you for what you brought in those two life's and even mine! I won't give this link to your mom..... but promise me to send me some of your fried chicken hahahahahah.xoxoxoxoxoox welcome in the " blogosphere" ..Flavia

  2. Welcome here, dear nomade Mrs Meyer Cook!
    What a big surprise, indeed!

  3. Thank you from the heart for your story! I think the same things about cooking and photos as your mother! But I'm trying to move on! I'm sure you are a good cooker and better than you say! I thank you also for the good ideas you give us in your article! There's a lot of stuff to work on! Thank you very much! Welcome to MTC and have a nice "trip" with us nomadecooker! Kisses

    1. LOL. I don't know, I just inherited my mom's passion of mixing ingredients to have a meal :)

  4. Benvenuta , innanzitutto! Non so sia vero che tu non cucini, ma il tuo pollo alla birra con briciole di patate è assolutamente da provare. Non conosco lo scmhaltz, ma d'altra parte tutta la cultura ebraica meriterebbe un più attento approfondimento. Sono sicura che, piano piano, ed anche con il tuo aiuto, potrò anche io accostarmi ad essa con più consapevolezza e rispetto. Intanto, grazie.

    1. Schmaltz is just goose grease. You also can do it at home with chicken, it works!
      Thanks to you.

  5. I'm very curious about the reaction on this big surprise of your husband and niece which we all know thanks to Mtchallenge!
    A heartly welcome to you in our crazy group and sincere compliments for this excellent exploit!
    Last but not least: I wish you that your mom won't discover your blog ;-)

    1. I'm not worried about. She's 98 and she has not an internet connection.

  6. Ben arrivata in questo coinvolgente gioco, ognuno di noi è all'altezza perchè ognuno porta la propria esperienza, la propria cucina che è fatta di sensazioni e sensibilità.
    Il tuo è un pollo sfizioso e mi intriga molto l'uso della birra, che io in cucina uso pochissimo
    Grazie e congratulazioni per il matrimonio
    Scusami solo se scrivo in italiano (sono negata con le lingue)

    1. No problem. Comments in any language are welcome. By the way, writing in our own language is better to express what we really want to say. Isn't it?
      Thank you very much.

  7. The nomade kitchen. J'adore.
    J'ai mangé cette recette et j'ai dit ce que je pense. Mais maintenant que je viens ici et je lis tes mots, et la recette du chou qu'est la même dans le journal de Sarah, j'ai des sensations inexplicables.
    Du coup je ne sais plus quoi dire mais je voulais te laisser un commentaire.
    Je t'aime fort.!

  8. Welcome to the crazy world of bloggers! We are very, very happy for you joining us! And with such a recipe! I was wondering how to make a potato crumble and you did it. Brilliant!

    1. Thank you!!! I feel lucky to belong this crazy group now.

  9. Dear gracious Micol, welcome in the crazy MTC world! Your recipe is so armonic, I love it!<3

  10. ikh vel zogn deyn muter! :)))

  11. Wow! What an entrance!!!
    Can you translate your husband's comment in a normale language, please??? :-)
    p.s. forgive me for my awful english.

    1. I understood: he threatened to tell to your mother! :-)

    2. Well...Yiddish IS a normal language. :)

  12. Welcome to MTC group, a pleasure to have you here.
    Your participation is a wonderful surprise, thank for the recipe, you are special!
    The doctor is very lucky!

  13. Welcome "home" dear Micol. When you decide that you're sick of your nomade life, feel free to come here and we'll be your home.
    I'm so happy you decided to create your own blog, I hope it won't be used just for mtc, but for other simple cooking experiments as well.
    Your chicken with potato chips is wonderful! It's a great idea.

    1. I hope I'll not get sick of this new life.
      About the blog, still don't know, but at the moment it will be only for MTC.

  14. Why Micol, this is really a great surprise, I'm so glad you opended your own blog!
    You already were part of the MTC family, if only indirectly, I'm really grateful for your joining it directly as well!
    Your first sentences speak of inadequacy and not enough genius, yet you got around the no-mixing-dairy-and-meat rule by using beer, and an intense, high-fermentation one, too! And as this wasn't enough, you pulled the potato chip crumbs from the cylinder: talk about genius. ;-)
    You're on your way to become a great MTChallenger, so... WELCOME AGAIN IN THE FAMILY AND THANKS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION!!!

    1. I'm impressed by this comment. Somebody who knows about beer must to be a very nice person :D
      I Think we will be great friend, Maria Pia. thank you.

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  16. Welcome Micol! You have a beautiful soul and your dish is great!

  17. Posso dire belin?
    E non solo per dare un contributo alla Torre di Babele che si e' eretta in questa sezione dei commenti... ma proprio perche' noi Genovesi, che siamo parchi di tutto, in primis di parole, consegnamo da secoli a questa esclamazione le emozioni piu' intense.
    E qui ce ne sono tante, dalla gioia di leggerti, a quella di questo spazio tuo che, sono sicura, diventera' per tutti gli appassionati di cibo un punto di riferimento costante: all'ammirazione per questa ricetta (tecnica di frittura compresa: uno dei migliori polli fritti visti finora), che coinvolge oltretutto il mio amore per l'Alsazia - pure il viaggio di nozze, ci ho fatto- e all'ennesimo cerchio che si chiude, in questa vita che tanto prende ma tanto restituisce.
    Grazie per esserti unita a noi, mreraviglioso "tassello mancante" ;)

    1. Wow! I was told that one of the best MTC sides were your comments. Now I know it's true!
      Thank you so much, I'm flatted.

  18. Je suis tombee amoureuse de la sauce a le biere (je ne trouve pas les accents !!!) ! Bienvenue Micol, je sais che sa sera un plaisir lire tes recettes e te connaitre...

    1. oh! je ne savais pas que tu parlais français. j'aurais du l'imaginer vu le nom de ton blog. enchantée. :)

  19. Ciao Micol, innanzi tutto complimenti per la scelta del marito 😊 che denota un innato buongusto 😊 Che poi è quello che esprimi in cucina, non puoi dire "I just fix lunch and dinner" e poi arrivi con questo pollo meraviglioso, pensato, preparato e abbinato con assoluto buon gusto e originalità! Complimenti e benvenuta, io sono Franci, quella delle vignette 😊

  20. Micol che bella proposta!
    Non conosco la cucina ebraica e mi piacerebbe saperne di più.
    Il pollo in entrambe le versioni è cotto alla perfezione.
    La tua panatura creativa è molto golosa: birra e patate che bell'abbinamento di sapori.
    Molto invitanti e che ti copierò sicuramente anche i contorni. Bravissima!


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