So, inspired by the recent Chow item on buttermilk fried chicken, and the fact that I had some leftover buttermilk in the fridge and chicken legs in the freezer, I decided to make fried chicken tonight. I knew I'd be getting home late from work tonight, but figured, "Hey, I have tons of slaw in the fridge. That'll work for dinner."
But, the reason I have tons of slaw is because of a bit of a disaster over the weekend. Namely, I was making BBQ, and had half a head of cabbage in the fridge that needed to be used. I don't like sweet slaw - I like vinegary ones, especially to cut through fatty meat, so I decided to throw together a quick vinaigrette slaw to use up some old vinaigrette that had been in the fridge for...a long time.
Long enough that I had forgotten that it contained anchovies.
Not a lot of them, but enough that my slaw had a decidedly...oceanic?...quality to it.
So...no problem...I also had half a head of Napa cabbage in the fridge (living alone leads to weird leftovers) which I used to make a more BBQ-appropriate slaw.
But I still had a LOAD of fishy slaw. (Not to be confused with a load of vichyssoise, which would be less of a problem, methinks.)
So I figured, I can eat the fishy slaw with the fried chicken. It'll work. But...can I make it better?
When I smelled the chicken frying, wing sauce sounded like a good idea. So I tossed a whole bunch into the fishy slaw.
Voila! Buffalo slaw! The pepper flavor came out strong, nice and spicy, covered up the fishiness, but not all of the other stuff that was right with the original.
And oh dear LORD did it go well with that chicken.
But I'll be damned if I'll ever be able to duplicate it, what with the anchovy vinaigrette of dubious origin that made it all happen.
And then it dawned on me that I do this a lot, because I never write down what I do in the kitchen, even if I AM following a recipe. More often than not, I'm making it up as I go along, and by the time I figure out how delicious it is, I'm a couple of glasses of wine in and can't be bothered to find a notepad for posterity's sake.
So what have you accidentally invented that you'll never be able to duplicate?
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