Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Communities of women and a recipe

As a student working on an anthropology minor, one of my projects is going to be a study of Jewish women in Florida. After reading up on the subject and dipping my toe into the pool of interviews and surveys I will have to conduct soon, I’ve realized how cut off postmodern women are from one another. Throughout history, women have met in knitting groups, quilting bees, cooking groups, and sewing circles. Now, we have careers and a society that says even if we have children and stay at home, we should be superwomen and carry every burden on our own two shoulders.

One thing still keeping people together is food, especially ethnic, home-cooked foods. For many of the women in Matzoh Ball Gumbo, food defined who they were. A bite of spicy gumbo or a pot of barbecued brisket simmering on the stove brings their world into focus as Jewish southerners. The book melds interviews with Jewish southern women and recipes to create a fascinating reading experience.

Unfortunately, the recipes didn’t work for me in my limited kitchen, which was bad because my first assignment in my research class was to make a recipe from the ethnic group I chose for my study.

Between cooking errors and a question from my professor, I ended up making kosher fried chicken, thanks to a recipe I found and modified from burekaboy after a quick Google search. Regular southern-fried chicken includes buttermilk, which makes the chicken unkosher by mixing dairy and meat. I’m posting my recipe; for the original recipe for baked honey lemon chicken, click here.

Kosher Fried Chicken
1 whole fryer chicken
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup matzoh meal
1 egg
oil for frying (vegetable or canola work best)

Cut up the chicken into individual parts (i.e. legs, thighs, etc.), rinse under tap water, pat dry with a paper towels. Poor the flour onto a plate and sprinkle a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper (up to 1 t each) into the flour, mix well with a fork. Poor the matzoh meal onto another plate. Break the egg into a bowl and whisk with a fork until the whites and yolk are mixed. Dust the chicken with the flour then cover it in the egg. After the egg bath, dredge the chicken through the matzoh meal until it is covered. Fill a pan ¾ of the way full with the oil and heat on high until the oil bubbles or spits when a drop of water is added. Add the chicken and cook the pieces until the outside is golden brown and the inside juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes each side. If needed, bring down the temperature by small increments for even cooking.

Honey Lemon Sauce
½ c honey
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon peel
garlic powder *

I add garlic powder or garlic to almost everything, so feel free to think of this as optional. Combine the honey, lemon, zest, and garlic powder* in a small saucepan, bring to a soft boil, and remove immediately from heat. Drizzle over fried chicken.

1 comment:

burekaboy — said...

hi wendy, thanks for the mention and link. recipe looks great and exceedingly simple -- many of the simplest recipes turn out to make the greatest food. good luck with your project. regards, bb