Last week, I mentioned taking a Viking cooking class and learning to fry chicken (cheering in the background by HH). Minny’s chicken. Minny, the maid, is a character who regularly made chicken in the movie The Help.
I’ve wanted to take a cooking class at Viking for…well,…forever! Viking Range Company, located in Greenwood, Mississippi, shipped their first range in 1987. Their mission was to provide commercial-type ranges for the home. They’ve since moved forward to include other kitchen appliances, as well. They offer cooking classes each week so you can use their beautiful equipment.
On Saturday, forever arrived for me. 🙂
I peeked through the front window and was amazed at the clean, pristine kitchen.
The entrance takes you into the store where they sell high-end cookware, loads of gadgets, cookbooks, and many unique and fun items for the kitchen.
That is one terrific store for unloading some cash!
My class (thirteen of us) was called into the back kitchen. Look at this range – one of four cooking stations in the kitchen.
We gathered around a huge center island for instructions. Meet Lauren, our instructor. She gave out Viking aprons for us to wear (and keep).
Lauren handed out our packets of recipes for “Southern Specialties from the hit movie The Help”, five of which we were making that morning. (My comments in parentheses.)
Southern Fried Chicken (Minny’s Chicken!)
Homemade Mac n’ Cheese
Slow-Cooked Southern Greens
Shirley’s Feather-Light Biscuits (which they are!)
Sample Recipe: Deviled Eggs
Sample Recipe: Sweet Tea
Sample Recipe: Minny’s Chocolate Pie (No terrible-awful included!)
Bonus Recipe: Flaky Butter Pie Dough
Bonus Recipe: Vanilla Butter Cake with Never Fail Creamy Caramel Icing
Here’s what we did:
We started a pot of collard greens so they could cook a nice, long time. These two ladies in my group were loading chopped onions into the heavy dutch oven.
After crisping some chopped bacon and caramelizing onions, we added minced garlic, salt and pepper, chicken stock, and greens to the pot.
They simmered slowly for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After adding sugar and vinegar, we continued cooking the greens on low heat while preparing the remaining menu items.
We breaded and fried some chicken. Yum! (The sound you hear is HH’s hands together, rasping back and forth. If drooling made a sound, you’d hear that, too.)
We made skillet cornbread, then feather-light biscuits. Here’s a picture of the group across the island making their biscuits.
Notice on the plate above – one remaining deviled egg from a sample platter, compliments of Viking. What a nice treat while we cooked!
Last on our to-do list was the mac n’ cheese. It involved making a roux, and let’s just say my group made the rue twice. (Just so you know, I’m a roux jinx and may have stood too close to the pot.)
Lauren commented she’d never seen roux look like THAT. Ha! She was very kind and brought fresh ingredients for a do-over. Hint: When adding the milk to your roux, add it gradually as you whisk. NEVER dump it in the pan all at once. Because, if you do…
The. Milk. Will. Curdle.
After two hours of cooking, laughing, panicking (and a few class members – the suddenly laid-back ones – enjoying wine in the morning!), our food was ready for devouring. We could hardly wait to taste that chicken! (Ahem…no waiting for the cornbread. We started on it right out of the oven. Shh…Lauren will never notice that BIG hunk missing from the pan… right?)
Lauren and her assistant served sweet tea to drink with our meal. As we finished, Lauren served each of us a slice of Minny’s pie. Oh, my! Delicious isn’t even the word for it. Rich, creamy, and…the word has to be sinful. Nothing that tastes that good could be anything but sinful!
Our food tasted delicious, and the chicken was cooked all the way through! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my favorite dish was the greens. I didn’t grow up eating greens, and I’ve only begun liking them (a little) in recent years. I could be perfectly content with a wedge of cornbread smothered in greens and pot liquor (a Southern term for the juice).
Viking declined my offer to publish their recipes for them on my blog. I can share the techniques and ingredients, but no measurements (which I did today for making greens).
The class was entirely fun! Check out Viking’s Cooking Classes here. (I’m not compensated by Viking in any way, y’all.) There are other locations besides Greenwood, Mississippi. Classes of many types are provided a few times each month.
Oh, and I shopped on my way out – nothing too expensive (see HH, I can control myself!). I’ll share more about that in the future.
Would you like to take a Viking Cooking Class? Do you have friends that might like to join you?
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