When Ed came home with a huge tub of Crisco and told me he was going to make classic southern fried chicken (recipe found in Food& Wine here), and I was going to love it - I was a little dubious. I'm not a fried chicken fan, and simply looking at Crisco makes me a little nauseous.
When he pulled out a mammoth cast iron skillet, because "that's what the recipe calls for" - visions of popping oil and kitchen fires came to my head (Ed has started a tiny fire in the past).
I watched the mountain of Crisco liquify in skillet like a hawk, and cringed when Ed plopped the first piece of chicken into it, but there was no out-of-control popping and no flames - just the sizzle of chicken being perfectly fried.
Was the key to the crispy, flavorful, and easy to make fried chicken the Crisco? The cast-iron skillet? The recipe itself?
I don't know the answer, but I do know that Ed has made me a fried chicken fan.
(recipe for the collared greens here)