Thursday, February 26, 2015

My New French Oven

New Red French Oven

The first dish I made after receiving my new six quart French Oven was Coq au Vin and it turned out almost perfectly. Here is a list of other recipes created especially for this beautiful “La Cocotte” by Dominique Tougne of Bistro 110. I will try some of these in future. Staub Cookware Recipes

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Old Time Chicken Fryer

Old Cast Iron Chicken Fryer #89 A
This is my old cast iron chicken fryer. It belonged to my husband's Idaho family and is probably from the early 1900s. After all that use, I finally cleaned and restored it last month following some videos on YouTube. The only markings on it are "89 A," which according to Internet sources signifies that it was manufactured by Chicago Hardware. There was quite a multi-day project to clean and restore it. It was crud-encrusted when I first possessed it back in the 1960s and I had no clue as to how to remove all that baked-on grease. I used it quite often when raising my family, mainly making casseroles as I was never big into frying chicken. Then one day in January 2015, I encountered videos on how to clean old cast iron. There were many different procedures, including building a big bonfire and placing the iron pot in the middle of it. I followed a different set of tutorials. I started with Easy-off Oven Cleaner, going over it twice which used the entire can. That did not remove all of the crude, so then I scrubbed it well with very fine steel wool (0000) which removed a bit more, but not all. At that point I resorted to cleaning it on the Self-Cleaning mode of my electric oven. I was apprehensive, but my oven is old and it needed cleaning anyway. Well, that procedure did the trick. Every bit of crud was burned off, but it took many washings to remove all of the rusty residue from the pan and lid. Once I had the cast iron fryer "clean enough," I then started the process of seasoning the pan. I smeared it all over with cocoanut oil and baked it about two hours in the oven. I turned off the oven and left the pan sit in it overnight. The next day I wiped it clean with paper towels and repeated the seasoning process. Now, whenever I use it, I give it a quick re-seasoning by smearing the inside with oil and heating it on the burner for a few minutes before adding my food. The first dish I prepared in it was indeed fried chicken and it turned out delicious: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe