I decided to take a break from the 1970s and try a recipe from one of my other vintage finds, The Electric Skillet Frypan Cookbook, which was published in 1955. I bought this lil’ cookbook when I purchased my electric skillet. I figured that if I bought the skillet I might as well know how to use it. There aren’t any photos, but there are some great red and black mid-century illustrations.
The magic of skillet cooking, indeed! I totally associate electric skillets with fancy clothes and top hats. Don’t you?
Carolina Chicken Pilau. Based on the recipe, it looked like an Indian biryani because of the almonds, curry, and raisins. And doesn’t pilau sound Indian? So that’s why I picked it, because it seemed like a biryani. Well, and also because I had everything in my house with the exception of the raisins. I only had to buy raisins! Furthermore, the recipe was very basic: boil chicken, take chicken out, put rice in, cook, done. Easy peasy.
While the chicken was boiling, I did a little research and discovered that I had no idea what the hell a pilau is. In fact it is a southern low-country dish of chicken and rice. Ah, that explains the ‘Carolina’ in the name of the dish. but what about the curry? I totally don’t associate curry with Southern food, do you? So I reread the recipe and noticed at the bottom, “serve with hot biscuits.” Well that was a missed opportunity considering that I love me some biscuits. You know that questionnaire that James Lipton uses on that Actors’ Studio show? And he asks “if there is a heaven what do you want God to say to you?” Well, I want God to say, “come on in! We just made biscuits!”
Anyway, here is the Carolina pilau (which still doesn’t seem Southern to me):
Now, can you guess what was wrong with this dish?
It was sooooooooooooooo freakin’ bland. While it was cooking I added a lot of extra curry and some garam masala (this is when I thought that this was going in a Southeast Asian direction), but that still didn’t bump it up as much as I would’ve liked. Why wasn’t there any onion or garlic or celery or carrot in with the chicken when it was boiling? I think that this was a missed opportunity to make a broth chocked-full of flavor.
So this was meh. I have enjoyed the leftovers much more than the original dish thanks to Louisiana’s Crystal Hot Sauce. So it finally got a bit Southern in the end.
Now for your Brian Bonus.
We have discovered that Brian’s favorite food is chicken. He is interested in all people food, but chicken drives him wild. So Brian was all up in the Carolina Chicken Pilau and making ‘bunny nose.’ It’s his sniffing face. Brian, for a cat, is oddly expressive–he is not just WTF 24/7. I swear. He looks different! Well, see for yourself.