Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pan-Frying Basics for Chicken and Meat

Just as with seafood, pan frying chicken, beef or any kinds of chops is a very simple process as long as you follow a few easy rules. You need to watch the pan carefully because the food will cook faster or slower depending on how thickly or thinly it's been cut.

Here are a few photos of pan-fried meat

from http://jeroxie.com for the chicken and salad,

http://howtocookmeat.com for the steak,

and http://mccormick.com for the pork chops.
To start, make sure your pan is hot because you want to sear the meat, but once you have browned it on both sides, turn down the heat to medium and let it cook more slowly until it's done. This way you won't chance burning it or ending up with the meat being tough.

Follow the same steps as you do with seafood, the only difference is that whereas seafood usually cooks very quickly, other meat cooks more slowly.
Ingredients :

- olive oil, coconut oil or butter
- chicken, steak or chops cut on the thin side. If these are thick you are better off broiling or barbecuing them otherwise the outside will probably burn before the inside cooks.
- salt, pepper and any other seasoning (steak spice etc.) you like
- water, wine, chicken stock or beef stock for deglazing

Directions :

- Put your cooking fat into the hot pan followed by your meat. Brown on both sides. Turn down the heat and continue cooking until no longer pink. Remove to a platter.
- Pour in the liquid and swish around the pan to pick up all the bits. Simmer for a few minutes to decrease by half. This is called "deglazing" the pan, and makes a delicious sauce.

If you prefer a  thicker gravy rather than a glaze, whisk in a spoonful of arrowroot right away, cook until just thickened, and serve with your meat. And for cream gravy add a bit of heavy or sour cream just before serving. Don't cook this too long or on too high a heat. You don't want the cream to curdle.

As with most basic recipes the variations are endless. You can also dip your meat into beaten eggs and then dip into coconut flour or almond flour before frying for a Paleo version of fried chicken or chicken fried steak.

Here are some photos from http://thedailydish.us for fried chicken cutlettes with broccoli, and from http://delish.com for chicken fried steak. (That could be mashed cauliflower ...)

You can also serve your pan-fried meat with different sauces. As in the chicken photo you could serve with a tomato sauce for an Italian style version, you could serve chicken-fried steak with cream sauce as is traditional in the Southern US states, or you could pour on a red or white wine reduction as the French do.

Once you know the basics of pan frying the variations available to you are endless. Your only limitations are your imagination and your collection of seasonings.

image from saucesforsteaks.com

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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