Last, but not least, it was Timmy Lynch’s turn to spend the day in the kitchen with me. As the youngest at 8 years old, (and 11 and 8 years younger than older brothers Billy and joe) “the Caboose” is not very adventurous about food, so I wasn’t sure what we were going to cook. He announced during Joe’s Spaghetti & Meatballs dinner “I want to make Fried Chicken when it’s my turn”, which I thought was funny since we had already made it together before Christmas. It’s his choice, so fried chicken it would be, but if he thought he was taking the easy way out by choosing something he knew didn’t involve knives he was in for a surprise.
What goes better with fried chicken than Potato Salad?? So, while the chicken was brining, the first order of business was to get the potatoes prepped to cook, which meant cutting them into smaller pieces and using a knife. I know his mother would have been cringing and worried about a trip to the emergency room, but with some instruction and careful supervision Timmy did a great job and not a drop of blood was shed. While the potatoes were boiling and I chopped the celery, onions and dill, I put Timmy in charge of making the dressing, which is essentially a lot of measuring, so no sharp objects involved (I figured I’d quit while I was ahead on the safety front).
With the potato salad done, it was time to take the chicken out of the brine and rinse it. While the chicken came to room temperature, we had time to make an appetizer to serve when the rest of the Lynch clan arrived to snack on while the chicken was cooking. Guacamole is a hit with everyone, so we got to work on making it. Once again, I took care of the chopping and mincing, but Timmy was in charge of the rest. One perk of being the chef is you get to be the taste tester and dip the first chip. “Delicious” was the verdict and we were ready to focus on the main event.
Now we were ready to go and the Lynches arrived just in time to watch the fried chicken production. We set up a dredging station with the seasoned flour and buttermilk. I heated the oil and dunked the chicken pieces in the flour, then buttermilk, then flour again and it was ready to be fried. We may have survived the knives, but now we had to face hot oil, so safety was key to ensure we wouldn’t be heading to the burn unit. I took care of the frying and Timmy whisked up the Honey Hot Sauce.
At last it was time to eat . . . some champagne for the grownups, which is the perfect pairing. It was a deliciously fun day and the rest of the Lynch clan loved it all. As a bonus they took home leftovers for dinner another night (or two). Timmy declared he “didn’t care for” the potato salad, but I guess that’s an 8 year old’s palate. He was a great helper and I can’t wait for him to come back to my kitchen to cook something else.