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Sunday, August 12, 2018

What You DIdn't Know You Needed - Chicken Fried Ribs!

This is in the category of things you didn't know you needed...  Chicken fried ribs!  How in the world did we find them?  Remember Connie's list of the 51 best sandwiches?  One is at Fox Brothers BBQ in Atlanta.  A couple of years ago we drove through and we had the Fox Brothers Burger - which is really chopped smoked beef brisket - but HAD to try the chicken fried ribs appetizer.  This trip, we made sure there was time to head downtown Atlanta and visit Fox Brothers.  And, I came away determined to try and make chicken fried ribs.  There are two parts to this.  One is the ribs themselves and the other is the bbq sauce.  It's Alabama white BBQ sauce.  Something I've never made.  Now, I have a pretty darned good taste memory so I thought I could recreate it once I surfed the web and checked out how others prepared it.  Some put in massive quantities of vinegar, some a smidgen.  Some used smoked paprika.  Most used horseradish and garlic.  I started by dolloping some mayonnaise in a plastic storage container - probably a cup and a half.  Tossed in a couple of teaspoons of horseradish followed by an equal amount of crushed garlic.  Then, I poured in a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar. And, I went hunting for the smoked paprika.  I know it's on the second shelf.  But, it was buried.  Out came the juniper berries, then the curry.  As I had my hand on the next item I looked to the right and saw Penzey's BBQ 3000.  Ah HA!  That would not only have smoked paprika but also some other good stuff.  It'd do just fine.  In went about a tablespoon of the BBQ 3000.  The sauce was too thick so another tablespoon of vinegar went in.  Stir, taste, we have a winner! You all like my fancy bowl?  LOL  Hey, at least I didn't use a plastic spoon!

Next it was time to figure out the ribs.  Connie'd run errands most of the morning and came home to smoke the ribs while I stayed at the office and plowed through a bunch of work.  I'd gotten home to a lovely smoked rack of ribs.  He said he kept them at about 250 for a couple of hours.

After looking at the few chicken fried ribs recipes I could find, I decided to just wing it.  I saw ones with panko and ones with corn meal.  But, I just didn't think the Fox Brothers ribs had either.  So, I went with the flour, egg/milk, seasoned flour dipping routine.  I know.  You look at that and think, "What a total complete and entire mell of a hess!"  And, yes, I closed the drawer before I kept dipping.  Connie'd reached in and gotten the candy thermometer to check the temp on the hot oil and he didn't get the drawer totally closed as I took the photo. 

The seasoned flour had salt, pepper and more of the BBQ 3000. 

I heated up a couple of inches of vegetable oil in a deep saucepan and started dipping the ribs.  Three at a time could be fried so I was pretty glad we'd done just one rack! 

The first batch came out and I realized they were craggier than the ones we'd had at Fox Brothers.  But, they were still good!

Connie said he'd like mac and cheese with the ribs.  I was thinking the tomato pie with pimento cheese topping that I'd read on the New York Times site.  So, I compromised.  Pimento cheese mac and cheese it was.  And, sliced tomatoes with basil and balsamic glaze on the side.  Made me very happy that I'd spent $3.99 a pound for half a pound of heirloom tomatoes!  They were fabulous.  The mac and cheese was a basic cheddar mac and cheese with 2 oz of diced pimentos and about 20 shakes of chipotle Tabasco sauce added.  I used 3T of both butter and flour and about 2 1/2 cups of 2% milk.  Then, stirred in about 8oz of shredded Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar. 

So there you have it.  What you didn't know you needed!  Here's how it looked all put together.