Hey, Larda**! Chow down, wide load!
Anybody who has seen “Stand By Me” will remember the above line. Interestingly, as three white blocks of rendered pork lard were liquefying in my frying pan, the chant “Larda**, Larda**, Larda**!” did enter my mind. However, instead of it being a taunt, it was all about self-satisfaction. I had never cooked with lard and I was about to cook one meat with the fat of another meat. What’s not to like?
I used the Homesick Texan’s recipe. Fitting as I am homesick for Texas since the rest of my family is there. But the fried chicken I whipped up last night went a long way to making me feel better.
The day started with a trip to the Tesco Express to pick up two whole chickens and three blocks of lard. With plenty of free time on my hands I decided to break down the chickens myself, having not done that since the early days of my marriage. My wife gets a little freaked out by raw chicken and with her out of the picture, I was free to add a little more “homemade” to this recipe. With 16 beautiful pieces of chicken before me, I brined them in saltwater according to the recipe. The recipe called for a minimum of 8 hours for the soak and by the time I got home from the store, I only had time to do them for about 7 hours. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t have more time – as the end result was just a tad on the salty side.
I fried up the birds in four batches. They cooked evenly and the end result was a thin but delightfully crunchy crust surrounding the most moist chicken you’ve ever eaten. I usually pass on chicken breasts but the white meat done by this method was tender, juicy and full of flavor. Chased down with a cold Gambrinus and accompanied by celery sticks, it was a meal fit for a tub ‘o lard bachelor.
As I’m in full test kitchen mode, I froze a good portion of the leftovers for weeknight meals while the girls are out. The four other pieces in the fridge will be dinner for me tonight.
This is one Larda** that can barely wait to chow down.