Number 4: Derdriu-Style Fried “Pheasant”

“Fried chicken”. Is there any greater two-word combination in the English language? Well, maybe “lottery winner”. Or “snow day”. Anyway, it’s definitely up there. So how can we handle this bird?

The Dish: Derdriu-Style Fried Pheasant

Pheasant meat is pounded flat and fried. Can be served as a sort of sandwich, with cheese between two strips of meat. Ingredients are Poultry and Carrot.

The Research: For most of my time researching this dish, I was assuming it was good old-fashioned all-American KFC-style fried chicken (Or pheasant, if you will – my inability to locate pheasant coupled with my lack of desire to break down a whole Cornish game hen led me to just buy chicken breasts), but then I remembered Fódlan is meant to be Europe, right? That would place Derdriu in, uh…

Okay, to be quite honest, I have no idea. See, northwestern Fódlan is a pretty solid doppelgänger for northwestern Europe, but east of the Denmark equivalent it falls apart. My best guess is that Derdriu is meant to be Germanic, which means that the fried chicken isn’t American but rather Hahnchenschnitzel, or chicken schnitzel if you don’t speak German, or “breaded chicken cutlet” if you really don’t speak German. And since we’re already cribbing from the Colonel’s notes by making what’s essentially a Double Down, we’re gonna round out the menu with some German-style potato wedges – KFC’s third-best side.

If you’re wondering how I’ll incorporate the carrot, don’t worry. I have a plan for that, but you’re not going to like it.

The Method: Since the taters will officially take the longest to cook, our meal begins by chopping the potatoes into wedges. You’ve seen potato wedges before, c’mon. I don’t need to hold your hand here. Once they’re all chopped up, they’re getting tossed in a combo of olive oil, salt, pepper, and marjoram. Normally I’d probably throw in some garlic powder and maybe a dash of cayenne but German cooking is known for taking it easy on the spices.

Once the wedges are in the oven, the next order of business is to pound the chicken flat, then…look, I’m gonna level with you here, I just used Adam Ragusea’s schnitzel method. It’s easy, it’s foolproof, it’s…well, the results are below. Just do what he recommends and you’ll make a quality schnitzel every time.

Now for our carrots – those will get dropped into a pot of boiling water and cooked until soft. Once sufficiently softened, take a potato masher and crush them until they look sufficiently mashed. Also, just let me say that you probably want to not go with rainbow carrots unless you want your mash to look awful.

Once your carrots are mashed, grate in some of the cheese of your choice (I used Swiss) and combine until melted [see endcap PSA for further info]. Finally, add salt and pepper, along with any other spices you desire. This mash will form the innards of our sandwich.

There’s just one last thing we need to do: just take some sour cream, some dried dill, and combine them into a simple dip that’ll go together with our potatoes like Raphael and literally only food whatsoever.

At some point our various foods will be ready, and hopefully they taste better than they look.

That doesn’t look promising, but we’ll cut the breasts in half and put our Swiss-carrot mash in between them to make a kind of sandwich, just as advertised. Once our taters are out, it’s time to continue the German theme and combine these two drinks below into a nice Rädler. One part lemon-lime soda, one part German lager, all parts delicious.

The Result: Oh my. This may be the best thing I’ve ever made for this blog. The chicken, though not attractive, is delicious, the potatoes are incredible (especially with the sour cream dill dip), and the Rädler is ridiculously refreshing. The real MVP here, though, is the carrot mash. It’s tasty, the cheese adds some great mouthfeel, and it’s a perfect sandwich filling. If I make it again, I’ll probably season the potatoes differently, but that’s the only thing I’d change. All in all, a great meal.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: You may have noticed that I recommended grating your own cheese. Most, if not all, storebought shredded cheese contains anti-caking agents that prevent the cheese from clumping together, but also, in my experience, affect melting quality. Get a box grater – you can get a decent one for around $15 – and you’ll never look back.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s