Saturday, August 15, 2009

Deep Fried Turkey Dinner with Beer Gravy

I decided that I could imitate the great deep fried turkey dinner with beer gravy that I had at the Comet Cafe in Milwaukee recently. I was successful with my experiment.

First I made turkey dressing using my famous secret recipe. I made it very simple: sausage, onion, celery, hearty white bread that I'd toasted, and chicken broth. Of course sage and a dash of cayenne and a few other seasonings. I baked it in the oven till well set.

Next was the turkey. Well, poultry, at least. I chose bone in chicken breast halves. I brined them for an hour, then baked for about 45 minutes just till done, then let them cool.
Next the gravy: I used butter plus a little bit of bacon grease and a little bit of chicken fat. I browned carrots, onions, and celery, then deglazed with just a bit of white wine and some O'Doul's beer (alcohol free). Added cake flour to make a roux, then chicken broth (part homemade) and beer and made a savory gravy. Used thyme as the primary herb for its seasoning, with just a bit of sage.

Now for the deep frying. I tried several types of coatings:
  • panko bread crumbs (got to brown too quick)
  • dipped in egg whites, then seasoned flour (too messy and tempura-like to some degree)
  • simply dusted with seasoned flour (this worked the best)
I tried a few "dressing on a stick" a la Paula Deen--they were OK. But then I took some of the chicken in 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes, added it to the dressing, and formed into balls. They were the best. The coating and deep frying gave it a nice crunchy exterior and the beer gravy was absolutely to die for.
I have dressing and chicken left, so I'm not done experimenting yet. I'll keep you posted with what I come up with next...


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