Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Secret is Out! JB Tells All on Civil War Southern Fried Chicken and Jim’s Pork BBQ

Celebrating 25 years! Here is one of our fav's!

The roots of this recipe go back to a Jim Baugh Outdoors program we filmed in the beautiful foothills of Virginia. The segment featured a restaurant that highlighted historic dishes and we stepped back in time to capture the taste of Civil War Fried Chicken.

We finished filming the cooking segment around 11:30, making it the perfect time to break for lunch and savor a piece of that mouthwatering chicken.

Our travel representative and cameraman Wayne Baker were both up for it and this Southern boy didn’t need any persuading. The three of us immediately agreed it was the best fried chicken we ever had.

However, it came with a price.

If General Lee had fed this to General Grant and his troops, the outcome of the war could have been drastically different! 

The tastiest fried chicken no doubt –but it is also a VERY heavy dish. All I wanted to do was find the nearest couch, not enough Starbucks in the world to get my energy back for the rest of the day.

Typically, I prepare healthy meals and do not cook high fat foods often. But probably like you once in a while its fun to enjoy a meal for its unadulterated finger-licking flavor. Just don’t try it without a good post-meal napping spot nearby.

For the Civil War Southern Fried Chicken I won’t mention the restaurant or the chef here –except to say he was a great fellow and knew his way around a cast iron skillet.

He didn’t want us to give away his real secret on-camera. So I’ll vary the recipe a bit for personal taste but you will still get a war-winning fried chicken dish.   

There are four main factors that make this meal. Don’t skip any if you want to serve memorable fried chicken.

Factor 1: You need a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet. My 30-year-old CI skillet is seasoned to perfection. Throw in a brick and it would taste good. Make this a staple in your kitchen.

Factor 2: Lard. Yes, lard. You can use real lard and cut it around thirty percent with Crisco. Now you know why the chef would not let us share all the ingredients on TV! Remember this was pre-Paula Dean and he was not going to brag about the how his fried chicken was fattening. However, it is the best you will ever have and it won’t kill you to have it –occasionally.

Guess what? There are studies that report real lard is actually better for you than processed brands because pure lard is not hydrogenated. Do remember to refrigerate it.  

Factor 3: Brining. Take you chicken and brine it overnight. I use sea salt, red wine vinegar, and water.

Factor 4: Longer frying time. This is crucial and another reason to use cast iron.

How to Make:

Fresh chicken does make a difference. I get mine fresh butchered locally. Take chicken and wash well, then place in your brining solution. Let set overnight in frig.
 Get a good Butcher
Four hours before you are ready to cook, take the chicken out and rinse. Place in a bowl of buttermilk that includes two raw eggs beaten and quarter cup of whipping cream. Mix well then let stand in the fridge for another three hours or so.

 As always, prepare the CI Skillet by warming it on medium low. Once warm crank it up to medium to medium high. Add the lard and Crisco.

It is important not to get the oil too hot. You want it to where it is just bubbling. Cooking time is very important. You’re going to cook the chicken for 45 minutes. If your oil is too hot, it will cook the chicken too quickly.

Dredge the chicken in seasoned flour and set aside to rest. Back in the Civil War days, salt and pepper was about all that was used for seasoning, but use what you like. I put a little jerk seasoning, garlic powder, oregano, and lemon pepper in the flour. If you like it Cajun-style add which ever is your favorite spice.

When the oil is ready place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes on each side. The skin should be a nice golden brown but not burnt.

Once done drain the chicken well and serve.

Again, not something I make everyday, but fantastic and fun for special occasions.

Okay you have waited long enough.


My gourmet smoked BBQ restaurant, Jim’s BBQ was known for serving the best smoked BBQ around. This included my cornbread. Folks came in just to have the cornbread and wine!

For the many customers who use to ask why the JBBQ and sides tasted unreal I’ll now spill the… lard.
 Very happy campers at Victorian Station Jim's JBBQ
I saved all of the pork fat from the smoker, separated the juice from the lard, and then used both to cook many of the dishes we served. Our lard had a slight smoky taste, just awesome in anything! If a recipe called for butter, I would substitute with our smoked pork lard.

Hey, you can do the same thing if you plan ahead. A week prior to your fried chicken party, smoke a couple of pork butts. Separate and save the lard and use it when frying. [I included some nutrition info at the bottom of column.]


If you just can’t do the lard, you can fry up a few slices of bacon in your cast iron skillet. Once cooked remove the bacon but keep the oil in the pan. Next use Crisco and cut it with your favorite liquid vegetable oil. This will not have the same taste as lard, but it’s still good.  

My thought is if you’re only going to make this dish once in a while, then cowboy up- be brave and go for the full throttle rendered pork fat sizzling lard chicken experience.

Once you render your pig fat to use for cooking keep it in a ball jar in the fridge. You will use it in all sorts of recipes. In making your lard you also get the benefit of having a nice boston butt dinner!

Jim Baugh &Donna Bozza

 Cook chicken the way Clint would!
Per 1 tablespoon processed Lard: 116 calories, 13g fat, 12mg cholesterol

The health issue with unprocessed Lard is saturated fat and cholesterol. The health issue with Processed Lard is that the process adds as well trans-fatty acids, caused by the hydrogenation.

Some feel that Lard is healthier than vegetable products such as shortening, because shortening is hydrogenated creating trans-fats in it. Much Lard, however, is also hydrogenated -- if it doesn't require refrigeration, then it is probably hydrogenated. Most commercial brands are. You can also check the label. It's still true, though, that Lard is actually lower in saturated fat than butter or palm oil.

Nutrition Facts
Per 1 tablespoon, processed Lard
13 g
12 mg

Outer Banks NC to be featured in Jim Baugh Outdoors 25th anniversary special. OBX!!!!

Jim Baugh Outdoors TV is proud to announce we will be kicking off or 25th anniversary six special series with a feature on one of our long standing favorite destinations, The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

We will film from Duck all the way down to Hatteras Village. The Outer Banks has been a popular spot for us for many  reasons. The four wheel drive beach access and surf fishing is unique not only to the east coast, but to the entire United States.

Photo JBO TV
Our show will of course highlight the fantastic sports fishing out of the Outer Banks and cover popular attractions as well including the Wright Brothers Memorial and the incredible seafood festival held during the fall.

This show will also be the premier of our new “Lure of the Shore ‘ segment hosted by award wining travel writer Donna Bozza. Donna brings a wealth of talent and experience to our outdoor recreation and travel program and we are excited about having her on board.
"Lure of the Shore" with Donna Bozza

Jim Baugh outdoors will have more information about show times and show dates, we will post  here as well as in media releases. This anniversary feature will also be re-edited for web and Iphone delivery so you can watch the program feature online at any time, even on your smart phone.

We will see you in the Outer Banks!!

Jim & Donna Bozza

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Tourney 2014 Virginia Beach Virginia.

We, like thousands of enthusiastic sportsman around the country enjoy our history of rich rockfishing in our Mid-Atlantic waters. Years past have proved that the Chesapeake Bay and our offshore waters off Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks provide arguably the best rockfish in the world. Where else do you hear of regularly caught rocks in excess of 50 pounds?

What I have seen over the last 25 years of producing Jim Baugh Outdoors TV our rock fishing shoots have been simply amazing. One year we boated over 200 pounds of bluefish and limited out on huge rockfish all in the same location in just a matter of a couple hours. The location was only about 50 yards away from the rock jetties at Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Fishing Heaven was here on that day, one of the rare fishing tales that needs no embellishment.

For many angling sportsmen there seems to be a blemish on the ever-changing horizon of successful rock fishing. Understandable when the recent Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Tournament saw not one fish caught during the three-day tourney. This with over 100 well seasoned experienced boaters out fishing their heart out for not just the big bite –but A BITE! Now combine that with the fact that last year’s tourney yielded one fish, and two years prior was also pretty awful, and well you can see where this is going.

Keep in mind that poor fishing does not represent a poor tournament. The Mid-Atlantic Rock Fish Tournament is one of the best run and most respected fishing events on the East Coast. Nothing but praise can be said for the tournament directors and staff.
All participants in the event have to abide by the rules and regs –the biggie being fishing in legal waters. That means staying on the beach inside of the demarcation line. If you pass the three-mile limit, you are fishing illegally and will be thrown out of the tournament. The event staff makes sure everyone plays by the rules and has all the latest technology to monitor vessel locations. It is all a good thing and most sportsmen by nature honor the rules that are in place to protect the species.

As we anglers do, many of us have thrown in our two cents as to why the rockfish are not swimming within the three-mile line of the beach. Many accuse the menhaden fleet of taking too much bait out of the local waters sending the rockfish elsewhere to fatten-up. This has been a topic of discussion for years along with allowing commercial boats too much harvest. There are regulations in place and authorities monitor these things.

Whether or not commercial overfishing or menhaden boats affect the recreational supply of fish, I don’t have the answers. All I can say is I have not met many recreational fishermen that love menhaden operations or commercial fishing boats.

From my own personal experience, I once had the opportunity to film on board a menhaden boat in the Chesapeake Bay. I admit I was surprised at the lack of bycatch. True, their nets were full of baitfish, but nothing else that I saw. 

Expenditures to clean up the Chesapeake Bay over the last 30 years have been in excess of $15 billion yet we still have big problems with water quality in the Bay and Tidal rivers.

Rockfish migrate to the tidal shallows to spawn however, the 2012-2013 Chesapeake Bay Barometer found 71 percent of Chesapeake streams and rivers fail to meet standards for oxygen, algae, water clarity, and marine grasses. Also according to the Bay Barometer, the population of female adult rockfish has decreased nearly one-quarter in the past ten years and now is threatening to fall below the threshold for a healthy rockfish population.

While this is of concern, other reports state that the rockfish are rebounding strong and eating a large diet of delicious Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab.

One thing is for sure from the sportsman’s perspective –we want more rockfish! So, can a possible decline in the rockfish population, commercial fishing harvest and menhaden fleets be the reason there were no fish caught within the three-mile demarcation line during the past tournament?

Well, it is possible, but having fished local waters for the last 40 years, I see it differently

Rockfish don't know what a demarcation line is. 

Rockfish don't know what a demarcation line is. Couple that with a simple fact: fish swim.

We humans prefer hanging out in a nice temperature with plenty of food around. For me, an all inclusive beach resort in Cancun is preferable. Fish, including rockfish are no different; they too are driven by prime temperature and food conditions. Unfortunately, during this rockfish tournament that was around 10 miles offshore.
Rockfish prefer to stay in their comfort does Jim !
If the bait is offshore, the water temperature is right, and the migratory pattern puts fish wintering 10 to 13 miles offshore  then that is where they will be. All fine and dandy, unless you are holding a fishing tournament where one can only fish up to the three-mile line. 

I have been fishing many times when thousands and thousands of rockfish where just busting up the water like pop crackers, but three and a half to four miles out. So close, but yet so far –these were illegal waters.

As of yet no one has invented a technique to make a rockfish swim to the beach. I don’t care how nicely you talk to them, or drag your baits to shore, I know of nothing that can make a fish swim to where we want them.

 That’s the sport –that’s why they call it fishing!

I still contend if you are going to hold a rockfish tournament there is no place better than Virginia Beach, Virginia. Rather than point to a few skunked years we need to look at this popular tournament in its totality. Starting in 2004 the Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout has an impressive track record that has made it the biggest rockfish tournament in the country. 

Along with the area’s long history of excellent rock fishing, let’s not forget the other species that make Virginia Beach a fishing mecca.

Many people may not realize but Virginia Beach is a fantastic year round destination. It is resort central with every amenity imaginable. It is also my favorite place to fish for multiple species. 

Fishing for dolphin is always a treat and let me at those spadefish waiting offshore in Virginia Beach. Topping my list are monster sea bass deep in the Atlantic that hang off the wrecks. Now THAT is a fun trip!
Dolphin offshore Virginia Beach. JBO TV

Spade fish 10 miles of Virginia Beach, CLT. JBO TV
If you have not yet enjoyed the wonderful springtime Spade fishing or sea bass offshore action, book your trips now to the beach and get ready to hold on!

For the most part Virginia Beach is an all season fishery and a totally awesome resort town. Next time you visit be sure to bring your better half or the family and discover all the area has to offer.
 Sea Bass offshore VA Beach. JBO TV

So, while this year the rockfish were enjoying their “Cancun-Esk” vacation some 10 miles offshore, we will be planning on participating in next year’s tournament. Meanwhile catching a lot of spadefish, sea bass, flounder, trout, drum, tuna, dolphin and of course…Croaker!

Donna and I are also looking forward to checking out some of the new restaurants at the beach. Tautog’s Restaurant and Yama Sushi Bar are at the top of the list.
I can see a lot more seafood recipes in our future!

Tight Lines and Chow

Jim Baugh