Having grown up in a multi-cultural city like Miami, my “love affair” with soul food initiated at a young age. But it wouldn’t become solidified until I moved to Denton, Texas where I attend the University of North Texas to work on my bachelor’s degree in music. It was there that I was exposed to soul food of another dimension and it became an instant source of comfort food.
And so when Enrica asked me to put some recipes together for her next blog post featuring recipes from foreigners in Italy, I thought that soul food cuisine would be the perfect match. Soul food is nowhere to be found here in Turin; that is, unless you happen to be a guest in our home! After Enrica and I finished our cooking set, some friends were invited over to partake in my culinary adventure. Soul food can tend to be a bit on the heavy side for those not used to it but Piedmont’s cuisine is also quite heavy in comparison with other regions in Italy.
The first stop on my soul food voyage brought me to buttermilk-fried chicken. There are lots of traditional recipes out there, but this one (http://norecipes.com/blog/best-buttermilk-fried-chicken-recipe/) appealed to me the most. One needs to plan ahead when preparing this dish.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, not to worry. For every cup of buttermilk needed, measure one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and place into a measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal one cup and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. When the milk has curdled, it’s ready to use for the marinade.
- The chicken should be marinated in a non-reactive container, such as glass, overnight.
- I adapted the recipe to suit my taste and because some ingredients simply aren’t available here. Meaning, I didn’t use any celery seed or onion powder and used fresh rosemary rather than dried.
- For frying, I used an iron-skillet (cast-iron is difficult to find here in Turin) because it evenly maintains heat. For those who haven’t worked with an iron-skillet before, here’s a word of caution: the handle also conducts heat very well so resist the temptation to touch it with your bare hands.
- To fry the chicken, I used a mixture of peanut and grape seed oils and brought the temperature up to 350°F before placing the chicken in the skillet, skin side down.
- Cook the chicken until done and one can finish the cooking process in the oven if the pieces are on the thick side.
- To serve the chicken, add a drizzle of honey on top!