This is my wonderful friend Zandra. In the burlesque Dallas/Denton burlesque scene she is known as Adi Pose, emcee and singer extraordinaire.

Zandra moved to LA last summer to study Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. We all miss her terribly.

Zandra is one of those people in my life who just kind of showed up and I don’t remember how she got there. I had seen her around the DFW burlesque scene, heard people talk about her, and had chatted with her a couple of times so I knew “of” her but I didn’t “know” her. I”m pretty sure we had worked a show in Denton together and that was how we starting talking and making it a ppoint to talk with each other after and then she took the Burlesque 101 class I used to teach at Bonnie and Clyde’s in Waxahachie (I loved that place. Bewitching had a couple of shows there and the Waxahachie PD showed up both times. It was fucking fabulous. The bar closed as often happens in Waxahachie and now it’s some sports bar thing where, I have been told, the waitresses dress in boy short panties and their bras. How fucking classy is that, I ask you. Classy with a big ol’ K. Way to go Waxahachie.) Anyway, we really got to be friends while the class was going on and we started making it a point to spend time with each other and talk with one another and I am so glad we did.

She knows lots about lots of things and can talk to you about things you would never have even dreamed of or even thought you wanted to talk about. She has made me see things about myself and the way I view the world that I had never thought I should be open about. The thing that she says that just completely sticks with me is about living in a “color blind” society. She said in a Facebook post about interaction with one of her fellow students about race that “if you don’t see my race, you don’t see me.” She goes on to explain that her race is not everything she is but it forms who she is and what her experiences are and that we cannot truly understand where someone is coming from or what their life is like if we, as white people, say we are color blind to race. But it can be applied to anyone really, not just white people. I mean, you have to see someone for who the truly are and that includes their skin color and nationality. Those two things say a lot about us. They tell people who we are and you can’t ignore it. In my opinion the whole “color blind” thing is silly anyway and it’s just something white people say to people who are not white to make them think we aren’t racist or that we don’t stereotype people of other races. But some stereotypes are truths, just like Zandra said. Just look at yourself and the your world. I am white, although I like to say I’m white, just not vanilla. I know some really vanilla folks out there and it blows me away. Something happened not too long ago and I don’t even remember what it was, I think it was a Facebook interaction; and I told Roger, she is so white, it’s not even funny.  There’s a scene in “Steel Magnolias”, the Christmas party scene, where the ladies are talking about the one family and Clairee says how they “look like they’re carved out of cream cheese”. I know so many people like that and it makes me sad because they seem to be afraid to venture outside of anything they know. Their lives are so, I don’t know, plain. They are afraid to venture off the path. They’re scared of the unknown. Like people who won’t eat from anywhere they don’t know where the food came from or they won’t eat food someone they don’t know made. No bake sales, no potlucks, no taco trucks. They’re afraid of the unknown, like “what if she didn’t wash her hands or what if her kitchen isn’t as clean as mine?” Well, sugar, you might get the trots for a couple of days or you get something freaking phenomenal to eat and you lived and learned and you look for the next taco truck or potluck dinner. I guess there are people of all colors who are like that though.

Zandra got to come home for her Spring Break and I invited her for supper. I was going to make lasagna but Roger said I needed to ask Zandra what she wanted that maybe she would be hungry for home food since she was living out in LA and they probably didn’t really know what home food was and that I should ask her what she would like. Since he is right about 99.99999% of the time (yes, I have admitted that in a public forum), I texted Zan and asked her if there was something she was hungry for that LA just couldn’t do and she replied that she was wanting some chicken fried chicken or chicken fried steak. So I decided to go with chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, pea salad,  and 7-Up biscuits.

I am trying to do more stuff with marinating things over night. Roger has a bit of a time eating meat that is dry since his gastric bypass years ago and is all the time fussing about the meat I cook not having any flavor to it. He will tell you he doesn’t fuss but he does. He fusses in his way which is saying the same thing over and over and over again  but not is a nasty tone or anything, just saying the same thing about the way something was cooked until you just want to stab yourself and somebody else in the ear. So I decided I would try something different with the chicken for when Zan came to visit. I had made this recipe a while back and I really didn’t like it too much, I’m not sure what I wanted it to be but it wasn’t all that. Maybe if I had grilled it it would have been better, I don’t know. But I figured I’d use the marinade from that chicken for my fried chicken and this is what I did…

It's best to use boneless skinless breast for this one. Although, I'm sure you could use boneless skinless thigh and it would be good too.

You put your breast (heehee) between two pieces of plastic wrap, I use Press N Seal because I HATE cheap ass plastic wrap, and you beat the fuck out of it.

You want it to look like this

and be about this thin.

Once you've beaten all your chicken out, put it in a big zip bag. I used two because the ones I had were the cheap ass store ones.

Get all your marinade stuff together. I used sugar, garlic powder, buttermilk, smoked paprika, kosher salt and black pepper.

Mix all the marinade stuff up in a cup with a spout. I cannot tell you how much of anything I put in here, I sort of followed the Smitten Kitchen recipes but not real close. Sorry, that's how I roll.

Pour the buttermilk stuff over the chicken, seal the bags and shoosh the buttermilk all over the chicken really good.

This is the result of cheap zip bags, they don't seal properly and your shit splooges out all over the place. Lesson? Don't be thrifty when it comes to zip bags. Get the good ones and buy generic cereal to make up the difference.

Put your bag in a pan before you put it in the fridge so you don't end up cleaning the fridge. Put it all on the bottom shelf and let it go until the next day.

The next day your breasts will look like this. HA! (I'm sorry, the over-flux of male humor in my house takes over sometimes)

Get your pan screaming hot. The pan has got to be just hot hot hot. I also think you really need to use cast iron if you've got it. It holds the heat better than any type of pan and that is what you've got to have for frying of any kind or you'll end up with crap.

Put this much vegetable oil (or whatever kind you like to fry with, peanut oil is good too) in the pan. And get it screaming hot. It takes time so be be patient because this step will make or break you. Trust me, I know these things.

Put some flour in a shallow dish. Don't worry about measuring, just throw some in there.

Run your chicken through the flour and make for sure you get both sides covered really well. At this point, you could put it back in a clean batch of buttermilk and egg and flour it again for uber crust. But I just went with one go of it.

If your hot oil is the right temperature of hot, as soon as your shit hits the pan, it will look like this. This is what you want.

Set up your drain pan.

When it looks like this turn it over. Don't fuck with it. Don't lift it up to see if it's ready to be turned. Don't flip it over a gazillion times. Cook it until it looks like this and THEN turn it over. If you keep jack assing around with it, you're crust will be crap and it will fall off and then you'll be sad and so will your chicken and nobody wants that.

This is what your bottom side will look like after you've turned made the first turn.

You've still got a ways to go, so set your table while the chicken it cooking.

Once the crust has set up from the initial fry on both sides, you can play around with it to get the crust the color you want it to be. I personally like a dark crust. Pale crust is sad and cream cheese looking and doesn't look like the meat inside will be done. And while I usually like my meat to kick me in the teeth when I bite into it, chicken I do not. Undercooked chicken, or any kind of bird, just makes me feel kind of sickly.

After the chicken and the crust are done to your liking, put it on your drain set up to drain off the excess oil. I really prefer this set up to paper towels because I feel like the bottom side gets some air to it and the crust has a chance to kind of dry and not sit in the excess oil and get all soggy.

Fluff up your flour and get read for round 2. I did one piece in the pan (or two if they were kind of small) at a time because if you crowd the pan, your food really just kind of steams instead of fries. The oil needs to be able to stay really hot and needs room to get all the way round what you're cooking to get a good crust on it.

Then serve them up on your fancy platter!

So that’s really it. It’s not hard, just time consuming and messy but hey, some friends are worth it, right? I know mine are.

Let me know if you make this and what you did to make it your own.



P.S. Next post will be gravy!


2 comments on “Zandra

  1. Your chicken fried chicken was sooooo good. I loved everything. I really want that cake recipe though. Thanks for sharing the recipe for the biscuits. I really loved them with the gravy.

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