Friday night I decided I would make fried chicken this weekend. Having always used the simple approach espoused by Michael Bauer of the SF Chronicle (shake pieces with seasoned flour in a paper bag, then let stand for 30 mins to set), the last time I decided that that wasn’t *quite* right. It just never got that thick but perfectly flaky crust that you get when you have the “right” fried chicken (like what I’ve had from Price’s Chicken Coop).
I also have never found that chicken soaked in buttermilk (at some other restaurants I’ve tried which have been touted as “the best fried chicken in town!”) seemed to be any better than when it isn’t soaked overnight (which takes way too much forethought), I *did* want to soak the chicken in some sort of brine for a little while, and I also wanted to get some buttermilk in there somewhere.
So, Here’s the resulting recipe, a hybrid of other recipes I found in the wild. Thanks mainly to Bon Apetit and Tyler Florence. I took TyFlo’s brining technique and combined it with Bon Ap’s crust technique.
Served mine tonight with a version of Roasted Cream Corn. I roast my jalapenos (pretty much every night) by placing them on the floor of a 350+ degree oven, and it works perfectly. Why not use that same technique with corn? Works like a champ.
Served also with boiled buttered (kerrygold only please!!) greenbeans. Yum!
Wish I had a picture. Oh well, next time. And there*will* be a next time.
Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Serves 3- 4
2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 3—4-lb. chicken (not kosher), cut into 10 pieces, backbone and wing tips removed
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Peanut oil (for frying)
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: A deep-fry thermometer
Put the chicken pieces into a large bowl. Cover the chicken with water by 1 inch; add 1 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water used. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove from brine and shake off excess water.
Let chicken stand at room temperature for 1 hour (after the first 20 mins, sprinkle on kosher salt, cayenne and paprika to taste).
Whisk buttermilk, egg, and ½ cup water in a medium bowl. Whisk flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 Tbsp. salt, and remaining 1 Tbsp. pepper in a 9x13x2″ baking dish.
Pour oil into a 10″—12″ cast-iron skillet or other heavy straight-sided skillet (not nonstick) to a depth of ¾”. Prop deep-fry thermometer in oil so bulb is submerged. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°. Meanwhile, set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet.
Working with 1 piece at a time (use 1 hand for wet ingredients and the other for dry ingredients), dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Dredge in flour mixture; tap against bowl to shake off excess. Place 5 pieces of chicken in skillet. Fry chicken, turning with tongs every 1—2 minutes and adjusting heat to maintain a steady temperature of 300°—325°, until skin is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165°, about 10 minutes for wings and 12 minutes for thighs, legs, and breasts.
Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet, allowing excess oil to drip back into skillet; transfer chicken to prepared rack.
Repeat with remaining chicken pieces; let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.