If you can bread it, evidently you can chicken fry it. As a fan of fat and frying, I listen with interest at what folks can coat and fry. Public radio’s Morning Edition was at the Minnesota State Fair last month and reported on the variety of fried foods available there. Deep fried twinkies are old hat, but I hadn’t heard of chicken fried bacon or deep fat fried butter. I got chills hearing about chicken fried avocado since that sounds like a little bit of wonderful. Oh! Or better: chicken fried avocado wrapped in bacon. This is why I will never wear a pre-k sized dress.
Bob and I have eaten a lot of venison this year which is naturally low in fat unless, of course, you chicken fry it which is something that we do. I had always heard of fried backstrap, but Bob steaks out most parts of the deer he butchers unless he grinds it for hamburger or chunks it for chili. We’ve had a couple of venison roasts and they are good, too. But my favorite way to eat venison is chicken fried. My favorite way to prepare the meal is with Bob.
Bob likes to eat as much as I do and we both like cooking. I love eating Michigan food; I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Michigan cuisine. But a taste of Kogel’s pickled bologna sold me on the Wolverine State’s deli selection. I’m a big fan of chili dogs but had never had a coney dog until we tried one of Uncle Ray’s New York style coneys on the Corpus Christi bayfront. It was then that I found out about Flint style coneys which would kick New York or Chicago style coneys in the rump.
I’m not sure if our method of cooking venison is Michigander or Texan or something in between. We always give the meat a little time in a marinade which varies every time. It usually consists of orange juice with some fresh herbs thrown in for good measure. The venison is always jaccard’ed and dusted with fajita seasoning before it goes into the marinade soak.
I’d never hear of a jaccard until Bob’s friend brought one over to tenderize a venison roast. It was then that I knew what Mary Helen had given me last year. I’m tempted to say she wasn’t sure what it was for either, but it was in a load of pots, pans, and kitchen tools she brought over to donate to some of the women I work with. I ended up sticking this little jaccard in my kitchen tool drawer and we’ve been using it since we found out what it was.
When it’s time to cook, Bob does a final cleaning of the steaks (this meat came from the neck area of the deer) and makes sure there isn’t any deer fat on the meat. Deer fat is what makes venison taste gamey or so I’m told. He dusts the venison pieces with flour, salt, and garlic pepper and fries it in a cast iron skillet with a couple of inches of oil.
While he was doing his thing, I made risotto with mushrooms. Thanks to Nina’s cooking shows, I’ve become the Risotto Queen of Portland (unofficially, of course). I had never heard of arborio rice until Top Chef. I am getting comfortable enough with the recipe to vary it a little. One thing I can’t do-which is hard for me-is to wander off and stop stirring and adding broth. I end up with a sticky mess when I do that and have to start all over. Very sad!
The end result was a terrific meal prepared and eaten with love. What could be better than that?