Southern Fried Chicken
|January 29, 2013||Posted by jcogswell1 under Dinner, Lunch|
Over the weekend, while I was doing my normal weekly meal planning, I had the sudden and insatiable urge to make and eat fried chicken.
I don’t eat chicken, let alone fried chicken, all the frequently, so this craving was a bit bizarre. However, as soon as I turned to Kate and said “what do you think about making fried chicken this week,” she immediately responded with “when the question is about fried chicken, my answer will always be yes.” So after I got her support, I was most definitely on a mission!
Perhaps my craving was based on the fact that last week’s Top Chef episode featured the contestants making, and in many cases failing at making, fried chicken. Considering that episode debuted last Wednesday, I would say it’s a feat I made it as long as I did.
The result of this experiment – as hopefully you can tell by the pictures – was that it was a big time success. The chicken was simple in flavor, but absolutely delicious. Kate and I also noted that it was so extremely tender, despite not requiring any overnight buttermilk soaking.
My only complaint about my preparation was that I didn’t add enough salt to the flour mixture that the chicken was covered in. Kate and I kept adding a bit of salt to every bite, so I have increased the quantity in the recipe below to adjust for this.
Can I also suggest serving your chicken, as I did, with a sweet and spicy honey and chipotle dipping sauce? If you aren’t shy around your dinner guests, just dip the chicken right in and watch the warm honey cover the piece of chicken!
If you have never had hasselback potatoes, make them ASAP. They are so good and each “slice” is perfectly tender and slightly crisp! The preparation is pretty simple too – just slice the potatoes (not quite entirely through), stuff with a thin slice of garlic between each slice, cover with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in a 425 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.
Whatever you serve your fried chicken with, I just hope you make it! I thought this version was good enough to be called a southern classic – complete with a brown paper bag to soak up the extra oil!
Southern Fried Chicken – Serves 4 (Inspired by a recipe in Nordstrom’s Family Table Cookbook)
- 10 pieces of bone-in, skin-on, chicken (I think a safe bet is two get 4 drumsticks, 4 thighs and 2 breasts, but feel free to use the pieces you like the most!)
- Vegetable Oil for frying (see note below)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 TBs granulated garlic
- 2 TBs granulated onion
- 6-8 TBs salt (sounds like a lot, but this is a lot of chicken!)
- 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 TBs chipotle in adobo, minced
Place the flour, granulated garlic and onion, salt, pepper, dried basil and thyme, and cayenne pepper into a bowl or Tupperware container. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Place half of the flour mixture into a paper bag, reserving the other half (covered).
Place the chicken pieces in the paper bag, one at a time, and shake to coat. Carefully remove and place onto a cookie sheet with a metal rack. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in a fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably up to 24 hours. Throw out the paper bag that you used to coat the chicken.
After allowing the chicken to sit, remove from the refrigerator and pour remaining half of the flour mixture into a new paper bag.
Again, shake each chicken piece in the paper bag, one at a time, until well coated. Repeat with remaining pieces and place back on the wire rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is resting, you can start to bring your oil up to temperature for deep fat frying. The amount of oil you have will determine how many chicken pieces you can cook at once. Generally, you want a heavy set pot with approximately three inches of oil in it. I used about 1 3/4 quarts of vegetable and was able to fill up a 4 qt pot almost half way. You want to make sure you leave enough room for the oil to expand when you drop the chicken, so don’t use a pot that is too small. The only downside to using this quantity of oil was that I could only cook 1 drumstick + 1 thigh, or, 1 breast at a time. Next time, I will use more oil and a bigger pot to make the process go more quickly.
Bring your oil up to 350 degrees by using a deep fat fryer or candy thermometer. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, you can drop your chicken.
As I said above, I was able to fit 1 drumstick and 1 thigh in the pot at a time. However, even if you can fit more, make sure you cook the white meat together and the dark meat together because they have slightly different cooking times. For the dark meat, you want to cook the pieces, uncovered (ensuring that the temperature stays around 350) for 6 minutes, followed by covered for 6 minutes, followed by uncovered for 6 minutes. For the breasts its: 4 minutes uncovered (again, at 350), 4 minutes covered, 4 minutes uncovered. I had never used the covered technique before, but I am a fan of any method that makes the chicken as tender as it was!
Once you have finished round 1 of the cooking process, remove the chicken pieces and place on a paper bag to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle with some salt for extra flavor. Place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while you repeat the process with the other pieces.
If you like, serve your chicken with 1/2 cup honey mixed with 3 TBs of minced chipotle in adobe. I nuked the honey + chipotle mixture for 30 seconds in the microwave and it came out perfect. Enjoy!!