Schatzi: Eli wanted to experiment with a fried chicken recipe involving both bacon in the batter and frying the chicken in bacon fat. Of course, I had to let him. I also let him have his head with the rest of the meal, and he cooked up some kale and mashe potatoes, shallots, and roasted garlic. For dessert, we had the classic banana pudding.
Overall, the meal was a success. The kale was fantastic and–suprisingly–cooked without fat, so it was even healthful. The potatoes were flavorful–again without too much added fat. While the chicken does need some further experimentation, it was tasty. Getting the fat to the right temperature for cooking the chicken was a little tricky; it was initially too hot, and the chicken cooked too fast. But I particularly enjoyed the skin, as well as a little fritter Eli made of the bacon meal, and fried in the bacon fat. We’ll definitely be trying out this chicken again soon.
Banana Pudding appears to have achieved its popularity in the Twenties, when there was an emphasis on rich, creamy desserts, especially with pineapple or bananas for a tropical flair. While there isn’t a consensus on where or when it came from, it’s always made by pouring a hot vanilla pudding or custard over Nilla Wafers and bananas. Some recipes top it with Dream Whip, some with whipped cream, and others with meringue. Never make it with either banana-flavored pudding or instant; the former will not taste right, and the latter doesn’t have the heat that brings out the bananas’ flavor.