Fancy-Fried Chicken

Posted: January 18, 2010 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: Chicken, Johanna | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I have made fried chicken many, many times. I always shallow-fry, because the idea of dunking a raw piece of chicken into a pot of boiling oil and hoping that you can cook the chicken without burning the outside and without turning the whole thing into an oil slick freaks me out. It’s too much anxiety.
However, I’ve been feeling slightly bummed out by my last few fried chicken events. I mean, they’ve tasted good, but they weren’t great. So I was in need of some inspiration, and maybe some change to the technique.

While reading Food 52 one day, I saw that there was a new recipe up from the hubby of one of my favored bloggers (Jen from Last Night’s Dinner). Her husband, Mike, posted an ingenious-looking recipe for Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
The beauty behind this recipe is that you first brine the chicken in buttermilk, Old Bay, salt and pepper for several hours. Then, you par-boil it IN the brine and some water, until it’s basically cooked through. Then, you coat it in flour and deep fry it, to get that crispy, delicious outside.

I love this technique. I’ll tell you right now, it is 100%, 150%, 200% worth it. ¬†Brining the chicken makes it super juicy and very flavorful. The par-boiling means that there’s no risk of drying out your chicken. Shaking it up in the bag of flour is where it gets all the crispiness and yum. And then of course, there’s the 2 minutes of deep-frying per piece, which makes it TASTE ridiculous and bad for you, but keeps it from really BEING ridiculous and bad for you.
The one modification that I might make to the method is in the next-to-last step. I found that not enough of a crunch came through from just a pure ¬†coating in flour. It might be that I let the chicken cool too long (the recipe didn’t specify) and it got too dry on the surface for much flour to stick.
But in general, I would probably dip each piece of chicken in one more buttermilk bath before a shake in the flour, just in an effort to bring a TEENY it more crunch to the party. But the method, otherwise, is phenomenal. Please do not skip the last step of the recipe, which is to sprinkle it with crunchy or flaky salt after frying. It makes a HUGE impact.

Oh. Ahem. One last tip. Buy enough oil. I bought a too-small bottle of oil, and ended up having to use my tiniest saucepot, and deep fry one piece of chicken at a time.

It didn’t impact the taste of the chicken in any way. It was just really darn annoying.

Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.