new_chickenWell, Lent’s almost here. In the Byzantine Church, we ease our way into Lent with Meatfare and Cheesfare Sundays. Two weeks before Lent we give up meat, one week before Lent we give up dairy, then the next week we’re into the full on fast.

So tomorrow being Meatfare Sunday, we decided to have one last meal of a nice piece of meat. We saw this recipe on Cook’s Country by America’s Test Kitchen this morning and decided this would have to be the one.

I’ve tried my hand at fried chicken a few times. I recall last year getting to a recipe that I like, but it wasn’t like really good restaurant quality fried chicken.

This recipe is it. Absolutely. The only thing we changed was using strips of boneless skinless breasts instead of a whole chicken. I would’ve like to do it the whole chicken way, but the wife was in the mood for strips.

This chicken will shift your paradigm.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons table salt or 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 (3 1/2 lb) roasting chickens, cut in 8 pieces
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

  1. Remove 6 tbsp buttermilk and set aside. To remaining buttermilk, add salt and whisk until dissolved.
  2. Cut chicken in 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, cut each breast in half). Submerge chicken in buttermilk brine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together flour, thyme, pepper, garlic powder and baking powder. Add reserved buttermilk and toss with fingertips to form pea-sized crumbs.
  4. Drain chicken and transfer to breading, 2 pieces at a time. Pack breading onto chicken firmly.
  5. Heat 4-5 cups vegetable shortening or peanut oil to 375°F It should be about 3/4″ deep in the pot. Place chicken into hot fat, skin side down. The temperature will drop to about 300°F; maintain the temperature at 310-315°F Cover pot and cook 8-10 minutes; check chicken after 4 minutes to ensure even browning, and move pieces around if needed. After 8-10 minutes, turn pieces over; cook another 6-8 minutes until the second side is also golden brown.
  6. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Allow to drain and cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
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