Fried Chicken

It’s official….we’re sick of winter. Huddling by the space heater, the short days, and the lack of green DO start to get a little old after awhile. So this week we decided to make something quintessentially summery and picknicky…loaded with fresh basil…and fried. What better way to beat the January doldrums and rebel against the healthy New Year’s resolutions of the rest of America? We paired our crisp and juicy chicken with a zesty red cabbage slaw and flaky buttermilk biscuits. If I closed my eyes I was almost transported to a memorial day picnic or fourth of July cookout. I couldn’t 100% believe it though…because my feet are still cold.

Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Robert Pepi, 2008 Sauvignon Blanc
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

This wine was fantastic with the whole meal. It was a fresh and zesty contrast to the fried flavors of the chicken and the tones of citrus in the wine magnified the lime flavors in the cabbage slaw. It has a clean and tart flavor that was so refreshing. However, the acidity of the wine would have been a little overbearing if not paired with a rich, greasy dish like our fried chicken.

Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Doggie Style, Flying Dog Brewery
Rating:7.0 out of 10

Flying Dog’s pale ale is a pretty solid beer. Not quite as good as Sierra Neveda’s but respectable none-the-less. The beer has a hop-forward taste that finishes with smooth maltiness. This lighter beer’s hops helped to cut through the spice and grease of the fried chicken as well as complimenting the fresh flavors of the coleslaw.

Brined and Herbed Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

Brining:

10 cups water
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup honey
1 bulb of peeled garlic cloves
1 Tbs. whole black peppercorns
1 Tbs. thyme
1 Tbs. basil
1 Tbs. sage
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon

Chicken:

We used 2 chicken thighs and 5 chicken legs but you can use any combination of breasts, thighs, legs or wings.

Frying:

2 cups flour
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 Tbs. paprika 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper 1 tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 Tbs. Basil
12 cups vegetable or peanut oil

Directions:

Brining:

Bring all ingredients except chicken pieces to boil in a large pot. Boil for 1 minute. Cool completely. Chill until cold, about 2 hours. Add rinsed chicken pieces to brine, pressing to submerge. Chill 12-24 hours. Drain and pat dry.

Frying*:

Mix first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Place buttermilk in another bowl. Dip chicken in flour, then buttermilk, then flour. Place on a baking sheet. Let stand 1-2 hours. Pour oil into heavy large pot. Heat to 320/330°. Fry leg and thighs first turning once about 10-13 minutes (breasts will fry for approximately 7 minutes.) Monitor oil temperature closely while frying. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

*Make sure you have a Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer before you start this recipe. We didn’t realize that our thermometer only reads up to 220˚F so we couldn’t monitor the temp. of the oil…thus our first couple pieces of chicken were a bit too crispy.

Buttermilk Biscuits:

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
5 Tbs. chilled butter
¾ cup buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knives until the size of small peas. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead gently and quickly about 8-10 times. Roll the dough out with a lightly floured rolling pin, to between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Cut with a round glass and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops with buttermilk (and sprinkle with kosher salt and rosemary, if desired) and bake until lightly browned, 12-15 minutes.

Zesty Red Cabbage Slaw:

Ingredients:

This recipe is very much ‘a little of this a little of that.’ Feel free to vary the ingredients and amounts according to your taste.

½ head red cabbage
½ head green cabbage
2 carrots
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. honey
½ cup good quality apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbs. lemon juice
3 cloves crushed garlic
2 Tbs. dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Thinly slice the cabbages, grate the carrots, and place into a large bowl. Finely blend the following 10 ingredients in a blender or food processor and pour over the cabbage mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.

One Response to Fried Chicken

  1. Evan Thomas says:

    This sounds delicious. I don’t think you can go wrong with fried chicken(well, in moderation). I remember growing up we would get KFC every week or so. Making it yourself must make it taste that much better.

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