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Video: The Neelys make easy fried chicken, healthy side

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    >>> the new book "the neelys: comfort food from our southern kitchen to yours." making fried chicken with a twist. great to see you guys again.

    >> great to see you guys again.

    >> these are generational recipes but you lightened them up a little bit. can't eat the way grandma and grandpa eat.

    >> we remixed it a little bit. kind of bring it up to the times. but also to reach back and still contribute that, add some of that. but it's important to keep a identifies balance.

    >> people, they want this now. they love their old favorites, but they want to eat a little bit better.

    >> they really do. with this being our third cook book , i think the thing that's most attractive about this book is everyone can relate to down home grandmother, grandfather in the backyard, those type of stories.

    >> so fried chicken with a twist. what's the twist?

    >> the twist is, first of all, we're going to dredge it. this chicken -- and al, i'm going to help you out. we've got paprika, some pepper, some onion powder, and add that salt right in. we're going to give that a stir. we're going to dredge that chicken, al. you're familiar with this. we've got eggs and butter milk . and then we've got some hot sauce . and then you can take that and whisk that all together.

    >> the butter milk , the acidity of the butter milk ?

    >> and also it's going to bond things together. the seasoning has been on our chicken overnight. i like to season just like a good old barbecue, want to do it the night before. we're going to take some of our seasoning and put it into our flour. we're going to season our flour. just a little bit more flavor. then we're going to come right in, there you go, al. and dredge it.

    >> he doesn't need those tongs.

    >> al goes right in.

    >> the great thing about it. he's dredging it and it's going through both. we've got grandmother's cast iron skillet. we've got peanut oil . got it at about 350 degrees. we want it good and hot. and we're going to come right in to our skillet. once it fries for about ten, 15 minutes until it's golden brown , obviously the thighs and the breast are going to fry a little harder.

    >> and you don't want to crowd the pan.

    >> never. it lowers the temperature of your oil. and then you don't get an even cook.

    >> that candy thermometer saved my life.

    >> you got the proper temperature. this is a hot maple glaze that will just come right across our chicken once it's done. and look here, y'all. that's good old southern fried chicken .

    >> what goes in the glaze?

    >> some hot sauce , some maple syrup , some mustard and a little butter, we'll add it right to the chicken.

    >> make some waffles with that.

    >> oh, yes.

    >> a little twist on mashed potatoes here.

    >> exactly. that's mashed cauliflower. a great way to trick our kids into having something nice and healthy. i got started with my own. i have to keep the side dish moving. so i cored off my cauliflower. i used some butter and then some garlic to give it a little saw today. stir it all in. you want to add in some warmth to loosen it up. you put everything all in here.

    >> there are people who say i wanted my mashed potatoes . but this tastes good when you mix it all together.

    >> don't even tell them. don't even tell them.

    >> i'll take that approach.

    >> get it all in there. of course, cheddar cheese .

    >> bring in the cheese.

    >> got to have the cheese, baby.

    >> and then just mash it all up.

    >> actually, because cauliflower, the texture is different, you want to put it right into the food processor . that saves a lot of time. and then the peppers.

    >> you mind if i get in here and try it?

    >> that's fantastic.

    >> that's the finished product. put some chives on top to make presentation wonderful.

    >> that is great. it's great.

    >> isn't it amazing?

    >> pat and gina neely , thank you so much. that is good eating. for these recipes and more, head to today.com. we're back in a moment. but first, this is "today" on nbc.

    >>> look at that. kathie lee and hoda coming up next. as always, prepared.

    >> in 45 years, she's never been late. not once.

TODAY recipes
updated 4/4/2014 5:01:57 PM ET 2014-04-04T21:01:57

Recipe: Sunday fried chicken with red-hot maple glaze

Ingredients
  • For the chicken:
  • 1 31/2- pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces, backbone and wing tips removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 11/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 13/4 cups self-rising flour
  • For the glaze:
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preparation

To make the chicken:

Put the chicken in a casserole dish. Combine the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl, reserving a teaspoon of the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining spice mixture on both sides of the chicken. Let sit in the seasonings in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or up to 1 day ahead.

Take the chicken out of the fridge to remove the chill a full hour before you fry. Heat the oil in a fryer or large, straight-sided cast-iron skillet to 350 degrees. If using a skillet, do not fill more than halfway with oil.

Whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and hot sauce in a pie plate. Add the flour to a casserole dish and season with the reserved spice mixture.

Working in batches, add the chicken to the buttermilk, shaking off excess, and place a few pieces at a time in the flour mixture to dredge. Place the chicken in the hot oil and fry until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes for white meat and 13 to 15 minutes for dark meat. Remove from the fryer to a wire rack (to keep it crispy) and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve chicken with the red hot maple glaze.

To make the glaze:

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook until the glaze is warm and the butter is melted. Reduce to a syrupy consistency.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Mashed cauliflower with cheddar and chives

Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons sliced fresh chives, divided
Preparation

Fill a large saucepan with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and a big pinch of salt. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain cauliflower in a colander.

Place the pot you cooked the cauliflower in back on the stovetop over medium heat. Put in the butter and once it’s melted and foamy, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the milk. When it’s steaming, turn off the heat.

Add the cauliflower, and give it a good mash with a wooden spoon. Stir in the cheddar, cream cheese and sour cream. Spoon the mixture into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of the chives, and give 2 more pulses.

Place the mashed cauliflower in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of chives.

Serving Size

Serves 4 to 6

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