Saturday, June 04, 2011

Buttermilk Soaked Fried Chicken

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Fried chicken, a forgotten classic. Yes I know, who wants to fry chicken anyway? But every once in a while it's hard to beat, and this recipe is only half way fried and it tastes really great — especially when you eat it with your fingers, lying outside on a blanket.

6 chicken pieces (leg, thighs or breasts)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 quarts buttermilk
6 cups all-purpose flour
peanut or canola oil for frying

In a medium bowl, mix all of the dry spices. Add chicken and toss until well coated. Refrigerate in a large bowl for one hour. Pour enough buttermilk over the chicken to cover completely. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Next day, pour chicken parts into colander and drain excess buttermilk into a bowl. Save it for the second dip! In a large bowl, mix the flour with salt and pepper to season well. One-by-one add the chicken pieces, making sure they are thoroughly coated with flour on all sides. Then dip them back in the buttermilk them and re-dip in the flour.

In the meantime, fill a very large pot 4-6 inches deep with oil and heat to 325 degrees. Grab each piece of chicken and slap it back and forth between your hands a few times to knock off the excess flour before slipping it into the oil. As the pieces go into the oil, the temperature will drop. Turn the flame to high to increase the temperature to 350 as the chicken cooks. Cook 9 minutes until golden brown.

Preheat your oven to 375. Finish the chicken in the oven on sheet pans until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. This will depend on the size of the pieces but I would estimate about 20-30 minutes. Then get lots of napkins and dig in!