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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Good Old Fried Chicken

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Today we are going to make old-fashioned fried chicken. Health food this is not, but it is fantastic so maybe you could fast the next day or something! This takes a few days, so plan ahead.

1 large chicken cut into 8 parts
1 gallon of water
1 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon thyme
5 smashed garlic cloves
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Place chicken parts in brine overnight (in a deep bowl or large plastic container) and place into the refrigerator.

Next day, drain the chicken from the brine (toss the brine). Place chicken parts in the same container covered in buttermilk, soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Next day, in a large cast-iron skillet filled half-way with oil (your choice-peanut YUM), slowly heat the oil up to like 350-375 degrees. Prepare the flour / dredge mix. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment or foil.

Remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk and drop it into the flour mixture covering with flour and place on another plate. Do this with all chicken pieces. Then, REPEAT the process all over again, chicken in buttermilk then flour. Slowly, lower a few pieces of chicken into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Pay attention to heat — the oil needs to stay up to temp. When beautifully golden, start flipping and fry the other side of the chicken. This could take 10-12 minutes. Place all fried-off chicken on the prepared roasting pan and place into the oven — 15-20 minutes. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 when done. This is a messy process — one should be covered in flour when finally cooking off chicken. What a delicious mess!