Recipe: Fried Chicken
For those of you who’ve never tried it, making fried chicken is pretty darned messy (trans. a whole lotta fun). I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but halved it across the board since there was no way BFF and I could eat two full fried chickens before we started having nightmares about Colonel Sanders coming to bludgeon us to death with a giant drumstick. What follows is the half-portion recipe, but it’s easily doubled if you want two birds worth of fried goodness.
The only qualm I had with the crispy, greasy deliciousness that resulted is that it was a tad salty. I may or may not have left it in the brine for more than the recommended amount of time, though (hint: I DID), so I am possibly to blame. Otherwise, it was fantastic. Golden and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Yes, yes. Also, I heartily recommend listening to Johnny Cash and drinking a Louisville Cooler while fixin’ it.
via Smitten Kitchen, adapted from several sources, but mostly Cook’s Illustrated
One whole chicken, cut up
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 medium garlic head, mashed but not peeled
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoons paprika
1 large egg
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
Flour for coating
1. Mix brine ingredients in a large bowl. Place the chicken pieces in brining solution and refrigerate for two to three hours. Remove and place on rack to air-dry.
2. Mix batter ingredients and place in a large bowl. Place coating in large pan to coat chicken.
3. Coat chicken with flour, then place in batter. Drain excess batter off chicken and place in flour again and cover. Use tongs for transfers.
4. To fry, heat peanut oil to 375 degrees in a cast-iron skillet. Do not fill the pot more than half full with oil. Place five to six pieces of chicken, skin side down first, in the skillet and cook, covered for seven minutes. Turn chicken and cook, uncovered, for another seven minutes. Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F before frying the next batch.
5. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan, keeping warm in the oven until ready to serve.