Butch Parnell’s Famous Fried Chicken
( i.e. not giving you exact measurements of anything just to confuse you and instructions that really don’t make sense)
Prelude: a few things to think about before going into battle. There is no such thing as healthy fried chicken. Abandon that notion now. And making fried chicken is messy. Make sure you have a sucker,or uh friend to help you clean up.
- Chicken breast (you cannot use beef or lettuce)
- cream of chicken soup (secret ingredient)
- cooking oil (Crisco if you have it)
- butter (all that your grocery store has. Buy it all!)
- crushed red pepper flakes
- white vinegar
- yellow flour
- white flour
- cayenne pepper
- onion powder
- buy chicken
- cut up chicken into small nugget sizes for faster eating
- turn on 90’s country music
- preheat oven to 350
- mix breader (equal parts yellow flour and white flour), salt and pepper (a lot), cayenne pepper, onion powder, and sift in one of those fancy things that sifts things
- place cut up chicken in oven for 30 mins with half a stick of butter
- take a moment to drink some water or beer as cooking chicken is hard work and you’re gonna need to stay hydrated
- place sifted breader in one bowl and empty cream of chicken soup into another
- remove chicken from oven and allow to cool and soak up all that delicious butter goodness
- this is a good time for a bathroom break, it’s about to get serious, but please wash your hands!
- heat the oil( place a tiny amount of vinegar into the oil)
- place a plate with a couple paper towels near the oil. This is where the chicken land’s post oil
- when oil is ready, dunk cooled chicken into cream of chicken soup and then into the breader, and then add to hot oil
- at this point add some crushed red pepper to the oil
- heat on one side for a few mins and then rotate w/ chop sticks. When both sides are brown move to paper towel
- Once the first batch is done throw it away. Just kidding. This is the batch you can give to your friends or family. It will be the least awesome batch. It will be amazing, but not nearly as good as what is coming in the second batch.
- start second batch by repeating steps 13-15.
- open new beer as needed
- when all the chicken is cooked allow to cool for a few mins(try not to eat all of it)
- before anyone notices, grab a container from your cabinet and hide at least half of your chicken in the refrigerator behind the gallon of spoiled milk. This is for you to enjoy when no one is looking.
- Finally share (some) of the chicken you have out with friends and family
In conclusion: you’re welcome
How did you learn to make and perfect this recipe?
Well, it all came together from a complete accident. I love fried chicken and have eaten a lot in my time, but no one really showed me how it was done. I did however get to watch my grandma and my mother make it all the time and I kind of knew the basics. So I started making it right after college and just used whatever I had lying around. And when in doubt I just added more pepper. I started baking the chicken in the oven, because I was always concerned that I wasn’t cooking the chicken long enough for it to be done and I didn’t want to die from bad fried chicken. Putting a lot of butter in with it just seemed liked a no brainer of an idea. My grandma and mom used milk and eggs in addition to their breading, but that seemed like a lot of work, so I just decided to use cream of chicken soup as the ‘glue’ that would hold the breading to the chicken. Somehow it works. I liked the way I made the chicken, but it came to fame while I was living in Charleston, SC. I made it for a pot luck I was invited to. The next thing I know, it was a story in the local paper as the ‘number one thing to bring to a pot luck.’
Tell us about your EP coming out in March, what was the recording process like?
Well, it actually came together really fast. I wrote some songs to be recorded with my old band Runaway Dorothy. We spent the better part of a couple of years working all the arrangements out and recording the tracks. Then the band just kind of stopped. We didn’t break up, but we weren’t doing anything. That’s when I released my first two solo EPs. When it came time to release the third, I was mostly going to use the material we recorded with the band. I spent a few months recording new parts and mixing, but it never seemed quite right. So I scrapped the whole thing and just started over. I re-recorded different version’s of three of the songs and turned it all around in about 10 days. The versions are much simpler, but I think they get to the point of the song much easier. And I really like how fast and instinctual it all came together. I did this EP much like the last two. I wrote, recorded, and mixed all the parts myself. The only thing that isn’t me on the EP is the cello and pedal steel my brother Brett(who can play everything) added.
Do you plan on touring to go with the release of the EP?
I do plan on touring quite a bit with this release. A few years back I went to a psychic about a relationship problem I was having and out of nowhere the psychic asked if I was a musician and if I was about to release my third album. I said no and that I was about to release my second. She told me the third one is the one that makes it big for me and to not stop. I assumed it was the third album with the band(which never happened), but funny enough I am releasing my third EP with three songs, on the 3rd day of the 3rd month. I put a huge ‘3’ on the cover of the new EP just for good luck. Hopefully all of these things combined will generate enough good luck and attention to allow me to tour this release extensively.
Where can fans stay in touch?
I am all over the place. I am on all the normal channels of social media. If you like pictures of wiener dogs and New York City check out my Instagram. I also post a lot of behind the scenes videos of new songs I am working on for myself and others there too.
ABOUT BUTCH PARNELL:
Some would call Butch Parnell’s music folk. Others would see it as country. And still others might consider it indie. So which is it? Well, it’s all that and then it’s not really any of it at the same time. Growing up with Bob Dylan records and Rolling Stones albums left a mark on Butch that at first glance might not seem so apparent. And you probably will not to hear his immense love for the bands Oasis or KISS either, but they are there. So how do you define the music of Butch Parnell? It’s honest. It’s simple. And it tells a story that almost anyone regardless of age can relate to.
Growing up in a very rural part of North Carolina provided an excellent opportunity for Butch to develop as a musician. ‘When you don’t have neighborhood kids to play with you have to entertain yourself. And that’s where music came in. My brother and I would play music all the time, because there wasn’t much else to do’. By age 12 Butch knew he wanted to be songwriter. So after high school Butch decided to go to music school. ‘I wanted to go to music school to learn to be a great songwriter, but they were only interested in turning out high school band teachers and atonal composers. I wanted to write pretty songs that would resonate inside of the listener’. So after 2 years Butch left school to tour with a friend’s band that was getting some major label buzz. ‘Columbia was trying to sign the band. And I thought I would just join the band and would be set’. But that wasn’t the case. Nothing ever materialized for the band and it eventually broke up. But while Butch was playing in that band he kept quietly writing songs. And after 10 years of writing he finally had something he thought was pretty good. And then one fateful evening he ran into one of his favorite songwriters. ‘I met Ryan Adams when I was living in Charleston, SC. And somehow I ended up playing some of my songs for him. And he told me that he really liked them. That was all the validation I needed’. So Butch left Charleston and moved to New York City to pursue his own music.
After a year of living in New York Butch had written a bunch of songs. ‘That first year songwriting was so easy. I wrote about an album’s worth of music and I sent the demos to my friend that I used to play in a band with. He heard them and decided I needed to record them immediately’. So Butch’s good friend Price set up everything. He arranged a producer and studio and Butch flew to Springfield, Missouri to record his first album. ‘It was all very fast and exciting. In 10 days I went from having nothing to having recorded my first album’. The album which was released under the moniker Runaway Dorothy was released to great reviews and grabbed the attention of some musical royalty. Rosanne Cash and Adam Duritz of Counting Crows have both stated their love of it in interviews and on social media.
The next few years saw Butch touring in support of the album and playing festivals like SXSW and CMJ multiple times. And in 2014 after signing a one album deal with the label Rock Ridge Music Butch released the second Runaway Dorothy album. ‘This was a very difficult album for me to make. It seemed to take years. And I was in a terrible mess while it was going on. I was homeless and living on my brother’s couch. I was broke and obsessed with getting the album right.’ After completion the label decided to hold the album’s release for one year. And when it finally came out Butch and his band toured in support of it. But it didn’t get the attention the first had. So in 2015 Butch quietly again starting writing and recording songs. ‘I didn’t know if there would ever be another Runaway Dorothy album, but I as making demos for songs as if there would be. But after listening to the first set of demos I decided to just release those as my first Ep using the name Butch Parnell’. So in late 2015 Butch’s first Ep ‘The Brightness’ was released. Six months later the second Ep ‘The Shatter’ followed it.
Now Butch is set to release his 3rd EP which is has aptly titled ‘The 3rd’. It’s a 3 song Ep that will be released on the 3rd day of the 3rd month is 2017. Why so many 3s? ‘When I was making the second album and going through a very rough time I decided to go see a psychic. I was there to talk about my relationship problem but all she wanted to talk about was my music career. She asked me if I as about to release my third album and I told her that I was about to release my second. She said that she saw an album with a huge ‘3′ on the cover and that was the one that was going to make it big for me and not to stop before more that.
So it seemed fitting that my third EP with three songs on it be called ‘The 3rd’. And I put a huge 3 on the cover just for good luck’. I mean third time’s a charm. Right?