Day 2 – Linner

Pan-fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, paprika fries, and blueberry lavender ice cream


Let’s talk about chickens for a second – Chickens

I break down a whole chicken on Saturday, put the cut up pieces in buttermilk, store them covered on the bottom shelf of my fridge (very important), and let them marinate until I’m ready on Sunday. It takes 10 minutes. Recipe for frying to follow. I start the biscuits first.
Time to repurpose some of the buttermilk.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Servings 4-5 biscuits

1 cup flour $0.25
1/4 teaspoon baking soda $0.01
1 teaspoon baking powder $0.03
1/2 teaspoon salt $0.01
4 tablespoons cold butter $0.40
3 oz low fat buttermilk $0.21

Total for recipe – $0.23 per serving (assuming 4 servings)
Calories: 228 Fat: 12.3 Protein: 4.25

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice butter and place in the freezer.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl. Crumble the butter in until you have a coarse mixture, with pea-sized bits of butter.
Add the buttermilk and gently stir together just until a dough start to form.
Turn out onto a floured table or cutting board and gently mold with your hands.
Lightly press the dough until it is between 1/2 and 3/4-inch thick.
Use a floured round cutter to cut biscuits.
Place them in the fridge (while you prep the chicken)
When chicken is half done, place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

I am a huge lover of Alton Brown’s recipe for fried chicken. I enclose it here. One word of caution, don’t feel you have to put all the spice mixture on the chicken. Just coat each piece liberally, and that should get it done. When I have used the whole mixture, depending on the size of the chicken, it can range from alright to salty enough to pucker my face.I do not use shortening like he does. Yes, it prevents your kitchen from smelling as much like oil. It is all, all, trans fat. I’d rather live with the oil smell than clogged arteries, personally.I also season 1 breast with only salt and pepper to be repurposed for Chicken Parmesan later.

Alton Brown’s Fried Chicken – as is, all him, not me

Servings – @ 4

1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces $8.07**
1 cup low fat buttermilk $0.55
2 tablespoons kosher salt $0.05
2 tablespoons paprika (Hungarian if you can find it, but plain is fine) $0.44
2 teaspoons garlic powder $0.45
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper $0.83
Flour, for dredging $0.25
@ 2 cups Vegetable oil $2.08

Total for recipe – $3.18 per serving (2 pieces)
Calories: 400 Fat: 22.5 Protein: 30-54***  

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk.
Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. ( I have left if for a few more than 24 hours and it was fine).
Heat enough oil (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan to 325 degrees F.
Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
Drain chicken in a colander.
Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
Liberally season chicken with this mixture.
Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
Place chicken skin side down into the pan.
Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan.
The oil should come half way up the pan.
Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor oil temperature every few minutes.)
Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don’t drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it’s a gas oven.

**you can get these cheaper, but I buy my meat at WF. They get next pick, after restaurants and restaurant suppliers, so their meat is consistently of high quality.
***The calories and fat are averaged. I took the nutrition info from KFC because I figure mine has to be lower in calories because they’re pan fried not deep fried. I went with deep fried stats to err on the side of caution. Obviously white meat is leaner than dark meat. An Original Recipe KFC breast and wing is 460 cals 23g fat and 54g protein. A leg and a thigh is 340 cals 22g fat and 30g protein. They’re not that different. About 120 calories of protein separates them.*Shrug* This is not a health food any way you slice it, so eat the parts you find tastiest.

After I flip the chicken, I put the biscuits in. While the chicken is cooking on the other side, I prep the fries to go in right afterwards.

Paprika fries

Servings – 1

1 potato – $1.08
salt and the tiniest sprinkle of paprika $0.02

Total for recipe – $1.10 per serving
Calories: 270 Fat: 14.5 Protein: 3.25 (estimated from an average of other french fry stats) 

I use the oil that I fried the chicken in. I skim off the impurities with a slotted spoon, and let it come back up to 325F.
Insert fries. Slotted spoon works well for this too. Dropping them in can be hazardous.
Cook for 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile clear some space on the rack where the chicken is draining.
Remove fries and let them drain off while you crank up the heat on the oil to 375F.
Return fries to the pan and cook until golden brown.
Drain again, and salt while hot.

Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream with Blueberry Compote (without an ice cream maker)*

Adapted from Chocolate Ice Cream recipe from Cook’s Country
Yield 1 quart
8 1/2 cup servings

1 tablespoon culinary lavender (available in the bulk spice section at WF) $0.50
1 tablespoon hot water
Blueberry Compote (recipe to follow) $0.76
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk $1.65
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract $0.36
pinch salt
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream $2.33

Total for recipe – $0.70 per serving
Calories: 212 Fat: 15.6 Protein: 2.35  

*takes 6 hours to freeze.

Let lavender steep in water while you make the compote.
Pour 1/2 cup compote into food processor.
Drain lavender from water, and pour water into food processor.
Add 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk to processor.
Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and salt.
Process until smooth and place in bowl.
With an electric mixer or in kitchen-aid whip cream to soft peaks on medium high, about 2 minutes. Whisk one third of whipped cream into blueberry mixture.
Gently fold (do not whip) remaining whipped cream into blueberry mixture until well blended.
Freeze in airtight container until firm, at least 6 hours or up to two weeks.

Blueberry Compote

Adapted from Epicurious
Servings 5 1/4 cup servings

1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed $1.82
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar $0.05
3 tablespoons water

Total for recipe – $0.38 per serving
Calories: 90.4 Fat: .5 Protein: .4  

Combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries, sugar and 1/3 cup water in heavy small saucepan.
Simmer over medium heat until berries burst, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining 1 cup berries.
Cook until compote coats spoon, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
(Can be made ahead. Cover and chill.)
Serve on top of ice cream.
The rest of this goes in the fridge. It’ll go on pancakes later in the week.


Totals for linner

Total for linner – $5.61
Calories: 1200
Fat: 65.4 (49%)
Protein: 40.25 – 64.25 (13-21%) (depending on chicken pieces)


Sunday is a good day to put together some things for the coming week
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Pancake Mix for the week
Tortilla Chips
Pico de Gallo
Barbecue Sauce

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

All this only takes an hour, hour and a half, and it will pay off during the week.


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