I have the kind of friends who call to let you know that a local farm has a good deal on whole, fresh chickens because I am the kind of person who says, “Buy 10, Get 1 Free? I guess I’ll take 11,” and then shows up at that friend’s house a few days later with a couple of cutting boards, some knives, three homemade marinades/sauces (the thought, which turned out to be a very good one, was that flesh frozen with sauce will marinade as it defrosts) and a mother-in-law willing and able to shuttle zip-locked bags of chicken pieces back to the freezer at home.
Which is where I got one of the quart-sized bags the other day when the snarly stomach complaint hit me unprepared (read: I was hungry but had no idea what I was going to make for dinner). This particular bag had 2″ square hunks of breast meat in a kefir-lemon-herb marinade .
I stuck the bag in a bowl of water in the sink while I rummaged for accompaniments. Somehow got the idea that I was going to fry these chunks, so I put the cast iron skillet on the front burner to preheat, added some of my own “garden potpourri” dried herb blend, a bit of curry powder, and some black pepper to a little bowl of cornmeal, and then smashed the now-almost-not-but-still-barely-just frozen breast chunks with a blunt wooden instrument.
Here comes the fun part. After adding some rendered chicken fat to the skillet, I dredged, yes, dredged, the smashed kefir-lemon-herb chicken pieces in cornmeal-herb-curry mixture and fried up a plate of what could not be more accurately named “chicken nuggets.”
I remember being fond of breaded and fried chicken bits as a child, but I never, ever liked a breaded and fried chicken bit the way I liked these ones. Neither did he:
The story doesn’t end there. Tonight was liver night (I’m trying to eat the stuff once a week at least). I could have made the lemony-curried liver, mushrooms, and onions we all enjoyed last week, but instead I got out the cast-iron skillet and made, yes, Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken-Fried Beef Liver.
I gleefully anticipate the day I have children so that I can watch them fighting over the last piece of Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken-Fried Liver. It’s going to happen because it’s that good.