Monday, September 9, 2013

Broasted Potatoes

When I was a kid, there was a mom-and-pop takeout place called The Broastery. The menu was simple: chicken and potatoes.

Broasted chicken sounds like it should be a cross between baked and roasted, right? Nope, that's not what it was. Years later, with just a little research, I found out that the chicken was pressure fried.

The Broastery went out of business when I was still a kid, but I still remember the place. It made that much of an impression on me.

And one of the things I was totally crazy about was the potatoes. To be honest, I don't remember what they were like - I just remember that the weren't like any other potatoes I ever had. They weren't like roasted potatoes, baked potatoes, or French fries. They were completely different.

After my adventure with pressure frying chicken, I decided that I had to try pressure frying some potatoes. The broasted potatoes were cut in wedges, lengthwise. Maybe six wedges per potato. So that's what I did.

Just like when I was frying the chicken, I gently introduced the potatoes to the oil, clamped on the lid, and let them cook for 10 minutes. The emerged hot and nicely browned on the outside. I gave them a little sprinkle with salt, waited for them to cool to less than molten-lava temperature, and gave them a try.

I have to say that the texture was unique. The outside had just a thin layer of crispness. The inside of the potatoes was soft and silky and smooth. Almost like mashed potatoes, but not that loose. Really good, and really different.

So, you might be wondering how much oil food absorbs when it's pressure fried. It's pretty easy to figure out. I started with six cups of oil. And I still have six cups. After the first batch of chicken where I cooked nine thighs, I strained the bits out of the oil and stored it in two jars - a pint and a quart. That's six cups.

I used the same oil to fry the potatoes. Afterward, I poured the oil back into the same containers. Still the same. No noticeable difference. I mean, yeah, a little. But I could account for that with the oil that landed on the paper towel where I let the food rest for a couple seconds to gather the drips of oil. Interesting.

The oil should be good for at least one more time, and then I'll see. Maybe it will be time to dump it, or maybe I'll get a fourth fry out of it.

I'm not sure what else I'll try pressure frying, but for now, I'm pretty happy with the results with both the chicken and the potatoes. I think that's just about enough.

Then I'll go back to using the pressure cooking for cooking instead of frying.