Fried Chicken with a difference?
I mean ... buttermilk, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper ... maybe the usual herbs ... occasionally parmesan cheese... tasty, sure ... but a bit boring.
An article on SF restaurants serving fried chicken has me obsessed with the idea of using sweet bread like King’s Hawaiian bread for the coating ... maybe with a touch of cinnamon in the seasoning. In a web search someone used pretzels for breading ... others saltines, melba toast or Ritz crackers.
One restaurant has a Caribbean-based version with habanero, green onion, lime juice, and cilantro/parsley. It got me thinking chipotle powder might be a nice addition for a spicy breading. In a different direction, I’m thinking lavender might be nice or maybe smoked sea salt.
Somebody else marinates the chicky in lime like cerviche to tenderize the meat. Ok, this recipe uses buttermilk, but the chicken is brined in sweet tea.
Anyway some different ideas like using rice flour (mochiko) for the batter or rice oil for frying.
Interesting factoid from the Chron article “many believe that it was brought to the American South by Scottish immigrants”.
Never would have associated it with Scotland.
Anyway, I’m thinking of actually cooking. Probably will go with the Hawaiian bread crumbs Any different ideas for fried chicken? Maybe something at a restaurant or something you created/
Here’s the article with recipes at the end.
A few different recipes
Kudzu fried chicken with other kudzu recipes ... if you got it, eat it
Greek Marinated Fried Chicken (uses juniper berries in marinade
A few old Chowhound Fried Chicken posts:
(someone mentions using lemon Kool-Aid in the seasoning .. better yet ... lemon zest
Fried chicken without buttermilk?
(suggests coconut milk & curry
IMHO, the secret to making good fried chicken is pork fat and pan frying.
I give you my Dad's recipe, which yields the best fried chicken I have ever eaten in my life.
Rinse 1 package of salt pork, chop into small dice, and render over a low flame in a deep cast iron skillet that has a lid. Take the cracklings out of the pan and hide them from your significant other. Leave the pork fat in the pan.
Add enough canola oil to come up about 1/2 inch in the pan.
Mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and whatever else you want in a paper or plastic bag. It doesn't really matter since you won't be able to taste it much anyway.
Shake up chicken pieces one or two at a time in the bag until covered in flour mixture. Lay them aside and let them dry until all the chicken is done. Let the chicken continue to dry while you heat up the oil.
Heat oil until a piece of bread fries nice and brown in 60 seconds, or 360 degrees if you live in Georgia and have a frying thermometer.
Place chicken in skillet bone side down and fry until nicely golden on the bottom. Don't crowd the pieces or they will steam instead of fry. If they stick don't even try to turn them. When they're ready, they'll turn easily.
Turn and fry for a few minutes on the skin side.
Cover and let cook for 8 - 10 minutes.
Turn over and cook until steam stops coming up from the top of the skillet. When it stops, turn the chicken over again and wait until the steam stops again. (This step crisps up the pieces.)
Lay on brown paper or a rack and let cool.
Eat, preferably at a picnic the next day.
For me, its marinating the chicken in buttermilk mixed with Louisiana Hot Sauce dredging in a flour mixed with onion, garlic, cayenne, lots of salt and pepper,and let it rest in the fridge for about 45 minutes. Then fry in a deep fry pan careful not to let it the oil get to hot. I use the bread technique as well.
Then rest on paper towels and not cover up or it gets soggy.
I have a wonderfully beautiful cookbook and had it for many years, Lee Baileys Southern Food & Plantation Houses. I changed a few items, but the basic ideas was from the recipe, Spicy Milk Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy. Great book chocked full of history, beautiful photograpy and wonderful old Southern recipes.
lots of good quality oil in the frying pan will go a far way to giving you delicious results. i use coconut oil. fry skin side down for the majority of the time. flip only once and finish frying like that. the fatty skinside will be just crisp and delicious. if done in this manner, you will have cispy fried chicken with no use whatsoever of any flouring or anything. no coating at all. just the pure, crisped, fatty deliciousness of the chicken skin. seriously, try it.
While living in France many years ago, I visited a family that lived in the country. The wife was American and the first thing she asked me was what food I missed -- my favorite: Fried chicken. She went outside, caught a backyard chicken, took it to her farmer neighbor for dispatch, and I helped her pluck it. She cooked it in vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet with a very basic recipe. It was by far the best fried chicken I ever tasted. You don't realize the difference between real fresh and not-fresh until you've tasted it.
Don't know where I packed it -- I moved at the end of October and still am not completely "moved in" -- but the NY Times had a fried chicken recipe last year that involved marinating in whole-fat yogurt that was seasoned with saffron. Sorry, but I don't recall much more than that. I did make it a few times, though, and it was fantastic! If you are able to check their archives (i.e., are a Times Select member), you might be able to find it. (Just thought of this: if you aren't Times Select, you can call the NY Public Library; they have researchers who will look stuff up for free.)
Sort of answering my own question, I came across this different recipe which uses
4 tablespoons kosher salt
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 pinch ground bay leaf
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cups buttermilk
1 organic chicken, cut into 10 parts for frying (cut each breast into 2 pieces)
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
Peanut oil for frying