Day 13 - Denver, Colorado
The beautiful city of Denver with the beautiful Rockie Mountains as a backdrop was absolutely picture perfect! Colorado was the 38th state in the USA and it became a state on August 1, 1876.
We met Helen and John at the airport. They're not related in anyway, but have been subscribers for many years. It was nice to see them, have coffee and laugh about a few of my ezines. Always good for a grin or two I always say.
I asked what was Denver famous for, or, what was the food most likely favored by most Denverites and the reply surprised me. I thought it would be some type of meat dish, but fried chicken? So I asked them where could we find the best fried chicken around and they said without hesitation, "White Fence Farm! It also has a petting Zoo! Ziggy will love that!"
He greeted us and said, "For over a quarter of a century, this eight-room Lakewood institution has fattened its wallet by selling enough fried chicken dinners and gift shop poultry knickknacks to never have to bet the farm. While steak, pork shops, turkey, and deep-fried shrimp grace the menu, over 80 percent of the restaurant's diners order chicken. This place is all about the cluck. There are nine chicken dinners from which to choose, all served with side dishes, and the highly addictive sweet corn fritters."
Sounds good to me so we ordered the fried chicken. Here's the recipe.
Denver Fried Chicken
Serves 3 to 4
1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying
Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.
Dive into this Denver Chicken!
We're going to visit Denver's History Museum. Well, I am. Ziggy wants to go mountain climbing in the Rockies. I reminded her of what happened in Cairo, Eygpt when she got stuck on the top of the Great Pyramid in Giza, but she paid me no heed. She just took off. But first, she had to put on her hat. I went on to the museum.
Imagine covered wagons, a rendezvous of fur trappers, Indian buffalo hunts, mining the Rocky Mountains, and life in early Denver. Well, from 1850 to abot 1870 or so, that's the way it was. They discovered gold in 1858 which brought tons of people.
It was hard to concentrate cause I was getting worried about Ziggy mountain climbing. So I rented a helicopter and we flew over the rockies until I spoted her. I had the pilot land on the top and snapped this pic.
We're going to rest up this weekend and then take nice slow ride into Lincoln, Nebraska. Ziggy told me that was a rough climb and that she planned on sleeping for a few days after having some refried beans. I told her that was cool for her to go ahead and sleep, but the beans were definately out of the question.
"At our age, there's just some things in life we just can't eat anymore Zigg. And especially when I'm driving. There will be no tootin' in the back seat!" I said.
See ya Monday in Lincoln, Nebraska!