People often assume I do all the cooking at our house and sometimes, when I am feeling especially like slack housewife, I let them. But during the week, at least in the horrible after-work rush, the Boy Wonder puts his pinny on* so when I get home from work dinner is already underway.
Last week he rang me at work, sounding rushed. I immediately envisaged the house being on fire or the Small Girl being in hospital but something much bigger was at stake.
Him: “I need to know the order again.”
Me: “What order?”
Him: “For the chicken. What do I do after the flour and before the oats?”
Me: “Oh. Egg. Flour, then egg (a beaten one), then – what? Oats? There’s some panko breadcrumbs somewhere I think…”
Him: “No, I’m going to use oats. Ok, so egg, then flour, then oats.”
Me: “No, flour, then egg, then oats. Flour, egg, oats. Do you really want to use oats? I think breadc…”
Him: “No, I’m going to use oats. Flour, egg. oats. F.E.O. Ok. Got it. Text me when you’re on the way.”
So, what I have learned from this is that a) I don’t always know best and b) my husband makes excellent fried chicken. This is – roughly – how he does it.
Chicken pieces – we use free-range, bone-in chicken thighs, because that’s what I buy at the supermarket
Salt and pepper
A beaten egg or two (also free range, see above)
Put some flour in a shallow bowl and grind in some salt and pepper.
Crack the egg(s) into a bowl and beat lightly.
Tip some rolled oats into a third bowl.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, then egg, then oats (recite the F.E.O mantra if you are worried about getting confused). At this point you can set the chicken aside in the fridge if dinner is some time away.
Heat some oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until the juices run clear. Turn the heat down once you have a nice golden crust and just be patient. “It takes a while, but you want it to be cooked,” says the expert.
Serve with homemade chips and salad made from the cos lettuces you grew yourself in the mini allotment at the end of the garden. The little bits of oaty crust that get left behind in the pan are an excellent treat for whoever does the dishes.
*He doesn’t really wear an apron. He does have a high-vis vest though – but it might be a bit flammable to cook in.
Who does the weeknight cooking in your house?