Reverse Engineered Popeye’s Chicken

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It’s been a while since I last posted, so I’ve already forgotten which number this is,.  This dare started because a few friends were talking about how much they miss Popeye’s chicken.  This stuff is expensive, but is probably the best in terms of fast food fried chicken.  After that whole protest by the franchise operators, Popeye’s chicken became a highly valued commodity.  Just thinking of that mashed potato-like substance makes me hate myself for loving that stuff all over again.  Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

-egg wash (equal parts egg and milk)

-flour (2/3)

-cornstarch ( 1/12)

-baking powder (1/12)

-salt (1/12)

-black pepper (1/12)

-paprika (1/12)

-Chicken (obviously)

Objective:  get the batter to stick to the chcken, by alternating between egg wash soaking and flouring
Fry at 250 Fahrenheit 

The sandwich challenge: Po’ boy

I started this quest about 2 years ago after having been very bored of food.  I was tired of eating and making the same things over and over again.  The thoughts in my head were:  “We can do better than this!” and “Man, that’s one good looking sandwich” whilst browsing Reddit’s “eatsandwiches” subreddit.  This was originally a quest to broaden my horizons, but it’s become something more.  

The challenge:

Eat every single sandwich on this list, derived from Wikipedia’s list of notable sandwiches.

Each sandwich must be made by someone else (to authenticate the taste), but I’ve broken this rule if the sandwich was relatively simple.  

My progress can be viewed here:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApkJ2gnnikAhdGtveWJsZDlsSHIwdm0yT0dDQlZJdVE&usp=sharing

Today’s sandwich is the po’boy, purchased at a Southern BBQ place in Hamilton, Ontario.  

Verdict:  I expected a bit more than a fish sandwich.  I suppose eating catfish was a nice new experience, but I couldn’t taste anything special about it that would merit ordering another sandwich.  Don’t get me wrong; the sandwich was pretty good (fantastic homemade coleslaw, and tartar) but I had built the po’boy up in my head that I can’t truly appreciate it without sounding like an ungrateful brat.  Image,

Experiment 2: sandwich bread

Eating bread is awesome!  There’s no two ways around it.  Making bread, however, is a huge pain!  I tried to make pain de mie, from these instructions:  http://sososimple.blogspot.ca/2008/11/sandwich-french-bread-la-julia-child.html

It’s been my white whale for the last 5 years, so I’m happy to say that this is the first passable loaf of bread to come out of my kitchen.

Goal: Make a passable bread substance for sandwiches

Alterations: none – followed the instructions to the letter

Observations:

1) The yeast may have been dead.  The dough did not rise as high as I thought it would

For the first trial, the dough didn’t rise at all.  A friend suggested that it needed more kneading.  For the second trial, the dough was kneaded for 3 hours (30 minutes each time) until my hands became bruised from all the kneading.  At the end of the process, I was able to skip rope with the dough.  Still, it did not fluff up like regular bread should.

Conclusion / notes for next time:

1) More kneading?  I have no idea.  Bread is tough to make.  

2) Newer yeast?  This sounds silly, even as I type it.  The yeast is activated by moisture.  How can it be dead? 

3) Get someone else to knead it. :p  Any takers?

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Experiment 1 update

The riceballs have held up!  It turns out that the leakage is contained within the balls themselves, but the filling is too thick to leak out anyway.

Trial 2 will involve using hot water to make the dough as a way to promote gluten, as well as adding all purpose flour.
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Experiment 1: Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls

Hooray for the inaugural post that actually documents my findings!

I’m trying to make Black Sesame soup dumplings (glutinous rice balls) from a special request.  The general steps were taken from this recipe: http://www.justasdelish.com/black-sesame-tang-yuan/, with modifications inspired by this nice lady: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctT6X8syHAE

This trial was to look for a number of things:

1) Ease of preparation

2) Freezing /batch preparation features

3) Taste

Findings:

Ease of preparation:

-Filling:  It was incredibly difficult to contain into the dough pocket when the original filling was used (rather, I subbed in instant black sesame pudding mix for grinding my own) .  Making the filling thicker – to the consistency of jam – solved this problem, but with unknown effects to the filling consistency in the final cooked product.  Ideal form would be that the filling still pours out of the dumpling.

-Dough:  The dough was made entirely with glutinous rice flour.  Though in the first sample test, the cooked dumpling resembled the ideal texture, the dough ball was too flaky and structural integrity failed on 5 occasions.

Freezing:

The doughballs have cracked.  Fissures have started forming near some of the balls, and other balls have formed pinhole leaks that ooze the black sesame filling.

Taste:

-Just fine 😀

Conclusion/suggested modifications:

1) Mix in wheat flour to introduce gluten into the balls.

2) Turn the filling into a more solid substance (as seen in the youtube video)

Sauerkraut

 

 

 

 

 

I bought a cabbage for $0.99 one day.  It seemed like a good idea in retrospect; giant cabbage for less than a lettuce?  Why not?
So I experimented with sauerkraut.  Chop it up, they said… Salt it, they said….  Leave it alone, they said…. No one mentioned the amount of time it would take, or the fact that the jars will hiss at you, and release gases!
The 2 images are before-and-after shots of the experiment.  I’m not gonna lie, I’m quite scared of eating it.  Any takers?

 

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