Saturday, September 1, 2012

The best fried chicken ever

This is wonderful. Of course it is, because it's Thomas Keller. I never thought I could love fried chicken this much. Especially one that I made in my own kitchen, because as much as I cook, I don't often fry.  You'd think frying would be one of the easier things to do, but I don't have a deep fryer, so I just use a saucepan,  and I'm cheap on the whole oil thing.  This is probably the reason that most of my early frying attempts failed so miserably.  But I've finally figured out how to use the least amount of oil (or preferably, beef fat) and succeed and so I don't feel like I'm wasting it all.  Plus I'm really cheap and will often fry in the beef fat twice, depending on what I fried the first time.  Oh yeah, and I don't have a thermometer to measure how hot the oil is.  So you can see why I had so many failed attempts.  I still pretty much just guess, but I'm a better guesser now after having messed up so many times. Anyway, this is really, really delicious.  Please make it. Your taste buds, not to mention your whole family, will thank you.

You have to brine it:
2.5 lemons
12 bay leaves
2 oz bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 oz bunch thyme
1/4 cup honey
1/2 head garlic, halved through the equator
1/8 c. peppercorns
1 cup (5oz) kosher salt
1 gallon water

Bring to a boil and then cool, chill, and put your (cut up) chicken in it!  Don't almost cut your middle finger off when halving the garlic through the equator, though.  It's really difficult to type with a bandaid on.  Also, he recommends that you not brine your chicken for longer than 12 hours, because it will get pretty salty.  I can believe it.  I don't use a lot of salt, so this chicken was noticeably salty.  But it was great.  I brined for right at the 12 hours.

Now he has a buttermilk fried chicken recipe that has the exact spice-flour-chicken-buttermilk combo.  If you want that I'd be happy to send it to you, because it was great.  But I'm not going to type it all out here.   I think the key to this delicious chicken was the brining.  The breading was great, a little spice to it, which I loved, Russ loved, the kids pulled off.  Everyone cleaned their plates though and I gave them a pretty good sized portion!

P.S. I used whole wheat flour for my breading, and fried in beef fat.  So I did break from the directions, just a little.

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