The Great Buttermilk Fried Chicken Experiment

Lynn said “Let’s try this buttermilk fried chicken recipe I found online!” and I said “Sure!“. So, the great buttermilk fried chicken experiment began.

Lynn prepared the marinade/batter a night before using an ancient, super secret recipe passed only from one online user to another that we’ll totally share with you in a few. All I know is that it has buttermilk. Anyway, here’s Lynn. *passes the keyboard*

I was actually inspired by this Carolina Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe and the Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe. What I just did was I mixed buttermilk powder in water (because as far as I know, there’s no place where I can get actual butter milk), and then I dumped a load of spices in: thyme, basil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and then I added several dashes of garlic powder and onion powder. I poured the mixture in a Ziploc bag and put the chicken pieces in to soak overnight. Yay! Okay, back to Tj. -Lynn

After preparing the batter, time to get down and dirty. Aww yeah.

Here’s what you need to create what I’d like to call the “crispinator”. Flour, onion powder, and some Spanish paprika. The peanut oil is for frying and is to be used a little later, just in case you’re really clueless about what to do in the kitchen.

To prepare the crispinator, pour flour in a bowl, enough to cover all the chicken pieces you’ve prepared the night before. Make sure to crush all the clumped-up flour… because it’s fun.

Season it with onion powder and Spanish paprika. Mix them all together…

…then bury the pieces of chicken in the mixture! Since the chicken pieces were soaked in the batter overnight, the little particles of flour will instinctively recognize how tasty the chicken pieces have become and will then willingly surrender themselves to it for the greater glory.

Voila! The chicken and flour hybrid. Part chicken. Part flour. All food.

Preferably, you’d want to use a deep fryer to cook your chicken/flour hybrids. But, believe us, they’ll cook even with just a generous amount of cooking oil. Be sure that the oil’s hot before dunking the chicken pieces in so their armor of flour wouldn’t fall off.

You’ll know you’re done when they turn golden brown.

I got too excited that I forgot to use the nicer camera to take a picture of the finished product. So, here’s the Instagram photo that I did manage to take:

Enjoy!

Manang’s Chicken

Some weeks ago, I went on a cheese-free diet for a whopping five days. I realized just how much cheese I eat and wanted to see if I can deal well with not having any to perk up my food. The verdict: Yes, it is completely doable. In the middle of my experiment, TJ and I were at the mall and thinking of places that will not tempt me to give in to cheese. Manang’s Chicken was only a few feet away and I suggested we eat there. We had no idea what to expect, but hey, the place looked nice and clean and the food was reasonably priced.

The food chain bills itself as “Ang bagong fried chicken ng bayan”, which might sound scandalous to those who have long considered Max’s the purveyor of chicken for Filipinos. Given that the quality of Max’s chicken has been slipping the past several years*, it was time for a nice new brand of fried chicken to step up to the plate.

Manang's Two-Piece Chicken Cuts

And speaking of a plate, TJ and I each ordered a plate of two-piece chicken cuts with the original sauce. The size astounded us, because the chicken pieces were hefty. Digging into the meat showed us that they were well cooked, too, with nice white meat as opposed to other places offering chicken with strangely pink, somewhat slimy meat. The meat of Manang’s Chicken was tasty, and what’s even tastier? The nice crunchy skin. Just take a close look at it.

Manang's Two-Piece Chicken Cuts, up close

The chicken is described as double-fried with soy garlic sauce. Now where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, here and here. There’s something different about the sauce used by Manang’s, though. Seems a bit sweeter, with more hints of the soy sauce. We definitely like it, though.

Manang's Chips

We ordered potato chips to go along with our meal, too. While I don’t think it’s quite as spectacular as, say, Ribbon Fries, Manang’s Chips and Dip is nevertheless a nice, crunchy buy, and the chips tasted freshly made.

The verdict: Loved it, and as a matter of fact, I’ve already gone back a second time and ordered chicken with the mild-spicy sauce and a cup of macaroni salad, which was, eh, all right, but not life-changing. My mother had the fish fillet which is available for a limited time–she liked it, but found the accompanying sauce unusual, and thought that something like tartar sauce is more appropriate. I’m certainly hoping Manang’s Chicken stays yummy and crunchy, and that the quality won’t deteriorate over time.

* Let this be a wake-up call for you, Max’s, to get cracking on improving your chicken! You used to be sarap-to-the-bones, but no longer, and I am personally rooting for you to get your act together.

Chick’n Bacon at Felicity

I recently turned Felicity into my office for a day when my Internet connection at home conked out. It was a pretty good decision, too, since they had a couple of new items on the menu: Chicken Pesto and Chick’n Bacon, which you can see below.

Chick'n Bacon at Felicity

I was on a break from cheese the day I visited, so I had to ask if it’s possible to have the Chick’n Bacon without the cheese tucked within the chicken, and fortunately, they agreed. There isn’t much I can say about the dish, except that it combines a bunch of my favorite things: grilled chicken wrapped in bacon (I also asked them if I could have it a little crispier), onions, and roasted potatoes. It’s a delicious, unbeatable combination, and I look forward to trying it again with cheese.

4 Fingers…2 Thumbs Up!

It’s been a while since Lynn and I checked out a new dining place because we somehow almost always end up in Sbarro these past few weeks whenever hunger strikes. So, when Lynn told me about 4 Fingers, I readily said yes. It’s not because I’m getting sick of consuming Sbarro, it’s just that it seems that Sbarro’s consuming us. Anyway…

4 Fingers

4 Fingers Crispy Chicken just arrived here from Singapore and is the latest restaurant chain providing them crispy (but amazingly non-greasy) Korean-style fried chicken meals here in the Philippines. If you’re familiar with Bonchon Chicken or Chicken Charlie, you’ll feel right at home in 4 Fingers.

4 Fingers

I didn’t get the chance to snap pics of the restaurant because I was too eager to get our orders but the branch in SM North EDSA has a pretty cool NY subway theme going on. I don’t usually care how a restaurant looks like as long as it’s clean and not too noisy but 4 Fingers gets some extra points for style. But enough of that, on with our orders!

Lynn ordered their Chicken Chop meal priced at Php209 with a regular drink and small fries:

4 Fingers Chicken Chop

Lynn enjoyed 4 Fingers’ chicken more than she enjoyed Bonchon Chicken’s, but overall, she still prefers Chicken Charlie’s. Their fries were a particular hit for her, though.

I, on the other hand, ordered their Chicken Burger priced at Php199 with a regular drink and small fries:

4 Fingers Chicken Burger

It’s soy garlic goodness trapped between two pieces of bread. While the chicken wasn’t as crispy as I wanted it to be, it didn’t deter my enjoyment of the meal. It was good.

4 Fingers

While we still prefer Chicken Charlie’s chicken, 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken is a very good place to get your crispy Korean-style fried chicken fix. Whether you like Chicken Charlie like we do or prefer Bonchon Chicken, you won’t be disappointed with 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken.

Chowking’s Chinese-Style Fried Chicken

Presenting Chowking’s Chinese-style fried chicken in real life:

Chowking Chinese-Style Fried Chicken

OK, it may look like your ordinary fried chicken but it’s not. But don’t get too excited about it. It’s what I’d like to call home fried chicken +. There’s nothing really special about the fried chicken they serve. No extra flavor, no extra tenderness, nothing totally different… just crispier skin. So, yeah, home fried chicken +.

Still, that extra crispiness is reason enough to purchase Chowking’s fried chicken over, say, McDonald’s chicken or Jollibee’s ChickenJoy. It’s not as spectacular as the ads would want you to believe, but it’s good enough to try at least once.