OMG! It was Piefection. A Comfort Food Night at Justopia.com

Comfort Food

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I know, I know. It’s not good for me — you — anyone. But I was in the need for some comfort food. Ok, so a light bulb moment, right? A clear indicator that I use food to make myself feel better. Yes, it’s temporary. Yes, it’s bad for your health in all different ways, but when I need instant gratification, cooking does the trick, at least for a little while.

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I was sleep deprived and just feeling a little low today. Ok, so maybe it’s been the past few days, as you probably picked up from my last post, but today I decided I needed a pick-me-up. I was out surfing the food blog world and saw a post or two with photos of fried chicken. I had defrosted chicken thighs and legs and was stumped for what to do with them. I pulled out my Tagine and quickly decided that Moroccan food was not what I was in the mood for. I thought about chicken with lemons and garlic, but how many times am I going to make that on Justopia.com? I mean seriously, enough already with the lemons and garlic! So as soon as I spotted the fried chicken on Smittenkitchen.com my mind was made up. I knew I just had to have fried chicken for dinner.

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I had noted on the schedule that I was going to make π — Apple π to be exact, but since it would take over an hour to bake once I had the dough together, I decided to broadcast dinner. And I’m happy I did. One of the greatest pleasures I get in life is feeding people and since I don’t have much opportunity to have people over these days, it’s fun for me to have company virtually for dinner each night. It’s a shame there is no smell-o-vision or taste-o-vision yet, but trust me when I tell you, the house smells like paradise each night.

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Fried Chicken, Red Beans and Rice and Broccoli Salad with a Honey/Lime dipping sauce

I’d wanted to have a restaurant for years, but never took the plunge, so this is my way of doing it … digitally. For a lot less money, no staffing issues, no board of health problems, no facility overhead and no food sent back to the kitchen! Justopia.com and Justin.tv have given me the opportunity to live part of my culinary dream and to connect with some great people — all the people that view the broadcast or that are involved with putting it together and keeping it running smoothly.

Where Are They?

What was kind of sad tonight was that I had been asked time and again to make pie, and sometimes to make apple pie, specifically, but those that had made the numerous requests were not here to watch tonight. 😦 The good news, many Justopia.com regulars were there to join in on the fun. Thank you!

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Fried Chicken

  • 4 chicken legs, 4 chicken thighs (or whatever cut of chicken you prefer)
  • Flour to coat
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Oil for frying — I like to use peanut oil for it’s flavor and high smoke point

I have found that it’s helpful to set a baking pan on the counter with a silicone mat or parchment paper and a bakers rack on top. After coating the chicken, simply place the pieces on the rack and let sit to settle for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge longer.

After rinsing the chicken under cold water, pat dry so that no water remains. Add buttermilk to a large bowl and flour to another bowl. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk and then into the flour and place on the baker’s rack.

Heat a large deep sided pan on the stove top until it reaches between 350º – 360º and begin frying the chicken, taking care not to crowd the pan or reducing the heat with too much chicken. Use a button thermometer to test for doneness.

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Apple Pie

Basic Pie Dough Recipe

  • 1 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/4 teaspsoon salt

This recipe makes enough for 1 portion of pie dough. Double the recipe for a top crust.
In a mixer with the paddle blade, stir the flower, sugar and salt. Add the butter and stir to coat the cubes before mixing on medium low until the mixture resembles peas. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time and mix just until dough comes together. Do not mix too long or the dough will become too warm and will not be flaky.

Dust a work surface with flour and transfer the dough. Form the dough into a disk and roll out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Do not warm up the dough by rolling too hard ot roo much. Once the size of your pie pan place in the bottom of the pan. Put in the refrigerator to chill for at least and hour. If you are making a top crust, be sure to remove the dough before filling the pie so that you can cover the filling without breaking the crust.

Filling

  • 4 large apples — I use Granny Smith for their snap and tart taste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice — orange juice works well also
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado, raw or demarra sugar

Heat oven to 350º
In a bowl, mix sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and allspice. Core, peel and cut the apples into thick slices or 1 inch dice. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning. Place apples in a large bowl and coat with mixture of dry ingredients. Top with butter pieces.

Fill the pie with apple mixture and cover with top crust. Brush crust with egg whites and finish with a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. Place on middle rack and bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until filling is bubbling.

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2 Responses

  1. Damn, that pie looks incredibly scrumptious…and apple is my favorite. I will be drooling thinking about it all day 🙂

  2. Oh Peekers, you missed a fab-U-lous pie! I think it was the best apple pie I’ve made in recent memory. DEElicious!

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