Friday, August 31, 2012

Fried Chickin'

We stayed in last year for our anniversary instead of going out and found it to be supremely enjoyable so this year we decided to have a repeat. Peter requested Fried Chicken for our dinner this year. Our general plan to to recreate some fried chicken sliders we had a Koral in Bellevue. I did a little looking around on my favorite blogs and settled on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Let me just tell you: WOW. All I need to say.

Here's my slightly modified (I made significantly less than her recipe calls for, but followed the general principles):

Fried Chicken
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

2cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons  kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, mashed but not peeled
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cups buttermilk

2 cups flour

Mix brine ingredients in a large bowl. Place the chicken pieces in brining solution and refrigerate for two to three hours. Remove and place on rack to air-dry.

Mix batter ingredients and place in a large bowl. Place coating in large pan to coat chicken.

Coat chicken with flour, then place in batter. Drain excess batter off chicken and place in flour again and cover. Use tongs for transfers.

To fry, heat peanut oil to 375 degrees in a cast-iron skillet (I used my deep enamel stock pot and found this worked better, less splatter). Do not fill the pot more than half full with oil. Place one to two of the chicken thighs, skin side down first, in the oil and cook, for five minutes. Turn chicken and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Pull the chicken out of the oil and check internal tempature with instant read thermometer (mimum 150 degrees as chicken will continue to cook to 160 in the oven). Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F before frying the next batch.

Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan, keeping warm in the oven until ready to serve.

A few recipe notes: Even with the reductions in amounts I indicated above, you could easily make 2lbs of chicken with the amounts of above. I found I had plenty of batter and coating left over. 

In addition to the fried chicken I made: Bacon Gravy, Fruit Slaw, and smashed potatoes. 

For the bacon gravy:
I also made bacon gravy (yes I really did). Simply a few tablespoons of bacon fat, a few tablespoons of flour, stir stir stir until flour is absorbed into the fat and "cooked". Add milk or cream (I did a mix of both) maybe 1/2 a cup? Stir until thick. Add chopped of bacon if desired (of course you want to). 

For the Fruit Slaw: 
I won't tell you because honestly I didn't really like it. 

For the smashed potatoes:
Lightly coat small potatoes (I like the little artisan purple potatoes, about the size of a ping pong ball) with olive oil and some coarse kosher salt (half a teaspoon). Bake in the over at 350 for maybe an hour. Pull out and try not to eat them then and there. Let cool slightly and "smash" with your palm or a mug. Goal is to get them slightly flattened. Heat up about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a pan and fry potatoes until they are crispy. Again try not to eat them straight out of the pan. They are that good. Inspiration for these potatoes from here

As an aside, this was what I came home from work on our Anniversary to find:

He's the best. 

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