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Song of Summer

July 27, 2010

Y’know, for not being my favorite season, summer has been treating me pretty well lately. The absurdly hot heat wave has finally broken (I think), the boy and I brought his canoe down from his parents’ and after a ridiculously long search we finally found some life jackets that were not $80 apiece. And there’s Ryan Bingham. And specifically, the song “Sunrise.” Check him out. He’s my favorite addition to my summer soundtrack.

Tonight? I’m trying my hand at baked chicken legs. With honey mustard or sweet BBQ sauce for dipping the chicken. Maybe. We’ll see how delicious it is on its own. And I made my old favorite – French style potato salad. It has green beans (I used green AND yellow), roma tomatoes, and a vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes I leave out the tomatoes, but tonight I had some, so I used them. Sliced watermelon and fresh bakery bread with Maine butter round out the dinner.

Y’know, I was skeptical, but fancy butter really IS delicious. But I wouldn’t buy it for anything except putting it on fresh bread. Lots of it. Regular butter is fine for baking and cooking.

I once read that the best way to make fried chicken is to dip the chicken in flour, then egg, then flour again. I’m not frying, but I tried it anyway and it made a nice batter. Except I didn’t oil the pan well enough, so the nice crispy outside is mostly left on the pan. 😦 Next time I’ll know.

Tonight? A canoe ride! We tried one last night but the water was so shallow we kept getting hung up on the rocks. Also, we didn’t get in the water until nearly 9 pm, so it was pretty dark out by then. Tonight we’re aiming for deeper water and a slightly earlier start.

*** UPDATE ***

Canoeing was awesome! And now the boy and I want to start a canoe rental business, because the river is calm and slow-running and easy to paddle and no one rents canoes or kayaks or bikes in the very outdoorsy town near a popular state park and mountain area. Lame. That no one has thought of it yet, anyway.

Oh, and those chicken legs? Yeah, definitely no need for dipping sauce! So good! The crust kept them juicy and I made it extra salty, so that got into the meat, too. *nom* Here’s my recipe:

Baked Chicken Legs:

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs washed and patted dry
1 cup flour
1-2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
1 egg

Pull the skin off the chicken. Mix flour, salt, and pepper together in a shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, lightly beat egg. Dip in flour, then in egg, then coat in flour again. Place on a greased pan and bake at 350 F for approximately 35 minutes, turning legs once 15 minute mark. More baking time may be needed to brown and crisp up crust.

Like I said, I didn’t adequately grease the pan, so a lot of my yummy crust got stuck to it. However, the chicken was still good, even with the crust half off. Juicy, tender, salty, delicious.

You may be asking yourself, why get skin-on chicken and then pull the skin off? Well, for one thing, that’s what I had on hand. For another, I think leaving the skin on until you want to cook makes the chicken more moist, and you also get some fat left on if you skin them yourself, which makes the chicken a lot juicier. At any rate, definitely delicious. And I don’t usually even like drumsticks!

Also, a word to the wise – while these drumsticks are yummy baked, the egg-flour mixture created a definite kind of light, batter-y crust that would be AMAZING if deep fried. I’m just too lazy/scared to deep fry. But if you want to deep fry some chicken and share it with me? Okay, you twisted my arm. Just don’t ship them to me, okay? I think that might break several United States Postal Service rules.

*sigh* And tomorrow is another day of work. Makes me want to quit my job and rent canoes full-time. 🙂 I am away – to bed, to bed.

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