Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amazing Fried Chicken

I have made fried chicken a few times during my cooking days and even blogged about it already once. I feel though that the recipe I am sharing today is so blog-worthy, it's not to be missed if you're a fried chicken fan. It is flavorful through and through thanks to an overnight refrigeration covered with an amazing dry rub. And unlike other fried chicken recipes I have tried, this one creates a nice crunchy crust and very moist, tender meat. Not an easy combination to achieve.

This is another wonderful recipe from Bon Appetit, my go to culinary magazine of which I have been a devoted follower for many, many years. This is from their most current edition for February 2011. I won't go into too much detail about the preparation as the recipe is very self-explanatory. You can also go to their website and not only see a video on how they made it in their test kitchen, but also had to take care of your cast iron skillet.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love my cast iron skillet? It is my favorite tool in the kitchen. Purchased as a graduated set of 3 pans, 10 inch, 8 inch, and 5 inch for an extremely reasonable price of $5.00 at a garage sale, these pans were an absolute steal. They were used but in very good condition and I continue to treat them very well. They will last me forever. Which may not be that long if I don't quit eating fried chicken!

Skillet Fried Chicken
(Bon Appetit February 2012)

2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 3–4-lb. chicken, cut into 10 pieces, backbone and wing tips removed
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Peanut oil (for frying)


Whisk 1 Tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. Season chicken with spices. Place chicken in a medium bowl, cover, and chill overnight.

Let chicken stand covered at room temperature for 1 hour. Whisk buttermilk, egg, and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl. Whisk flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 Tbsp. salt, and remaining 1 Tbsp. pepper in a 9x13x2" baking dish.

Pour oil into a 10"–12" cast-iron skillet or other heavy straight-sided skillet (not nonstick) to a depth of 3/4". Prop deep-fry thermometer in oil so bulb is submerged. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°. Meanwhile, set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet.
Working with 1 piece at a time (use 1 hand for wet ingredients and the other for dry ingredients), dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Dredge in flour mixture; tap against bowl to shake off excess. Place 5 pieces of chicken in skillet. Fry chicken, turning with tongs every 1–2 minutes and adjusting heat to maintain a steady temperature of 300°–325°, until skin is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165°, about 10 minutes for wings and 12 minutes for thighs, legs, and breasts.

Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet, allowing excess oil to drip back into skillet; transfer chicken to prepared rack.
Repeat with remaining chicken pieces; let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is I, The Husband of Janet, Creator Of All Things Quiltic. The fried chicken has my full attention, but even more so because of the pleasing comments about cast iron. I couldn't agree more: I drag my irons far out into the woods when camping, no matter the weight. Nothing can beat cast iron for a tasty experience around the campfire. If Janet will allow it, I will soon be trying your recipe in my 10" skillet, which I consider to be my all 'rounder.