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Article: "Emeril's PotLuck"
Author: Chris Sadler
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Copyright: 2005 Chris Sadler
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Emeril's PotLuck

by Chris Sadler -

One of America's most famous chefs, Emeril Lagasse is known
worldwide for his enthusiasm and energetic take on cooking.
Subtitled Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude, there is
nothing bland or ordinary about the dishes offered in this book
but they are, in Emeril's own words, "straightforward, delicious
and meant to be shared".

The book starts off with tips and recipes for the Basics. These
are the essential building blocks to Emeril's comfort food
cooking. Continuing with Drinks, Starters, Salads, Soups and
Gumbos and Casseroles he then offers a category, Beyond
Casseroles. Not wanting to offer only the standard one dish
casserole so prevalent at the potluck dinner, he scoured his mind
for other options. 

His Chicken In A Box recipe is just one mouth watering example of
a Beyond Casseroles recipe. This recipe offers the tricks and
techniques required to create the perfect fried chicken, without
the deep fryer! This foolproof recipe is perfect for making ahead
because it even tastes great at room temperature.

The rest of the book covers the Sides, Breads and Desserts
categories and even offers a number of website addresses to sites
of interest and of course includes a complete list of his

The bright accents and bold layout as well as the center photo
spread make this cookbook essential reading for anyone who has
ever had to bring something to a potluck dinner.

Chicken In A Box

Making good fried chicken is an art. Since many home cooks don't
own a deep fryer, which makes the best fried chicken, I fiddled
around and finally came up with a foolproof recipe. There are
just a few tricks - soak the check in a salty marinade, rest the
chicken once it's floured, and keep the oil at a steady
temperature. Though many cooks suggest cooking fried chicken at a
higher temperature, I find that if I do that the coating burns
before the chicken is cooked through. I prefer a lower heat. Buy
a clip-on thermometer to control the temperature and you will
become a master. And, he makes life easy on yourself and fry up a
batch before your party starts, because this chicken is just as
good at room temperature as it is hot. I bring it over to
friends' houses in a wax paper-lined cardboard box - talk about
making folks happy, happy!

1 quart buttermilk
1/2 cup Emeril's Original Essence
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
Two 3 1/2 to 4 pound chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

Combine the buttermilk, 1/4 cup Essence, salt sugar and garlic in
a large non-reactive bowl. Stir to blend. Immerse the chicken in
the mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and for up to 24

Combine the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup Essence and the cayenne
in a large doubled brown paper bag or plastic freezer bag and
shake to blend. Drop the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into
the flour mixture and shake thoroughly to completely coat. Remove
the chicken and shake off the excess flour. Repeat the coating
process with the remaining chicken pieces. Place the coated
chicken on a large wire rack set over a sheet pan and let rest
until ready to fry, at least 20 minutes.

Heat 4 inches of oil to 300 F over medium-high heat in a medium
Dutch oven or heavy pot. Fry the chicken in batches, skin side
down, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn and fry until
golden brown on the second side, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove
the chicken and drain on paper towels.

Allow the chicken to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.


An even oil temperature is the key to success; a clip-on
candy/deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all
times. And the temperature should remain between 280 F and 300 F
at all times.

About the Author:
Chris Sadler is Owner and WebAdmin of The
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