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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:

Fried Chicken
(someone mentions using lemon Kool-Aid in the seasoning .. better yet ... lemon zest
Fried chicken without buttermilk?
(suggests coconut milk & curry

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  1. 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.

    1. Another interesting thing to do is fry some herbs and 1/2 a head of garlic (crushed, still in skin) in the oil first, to add flavor and fragrance. I've also seen people fry onions in the oil alongside the chicken to add flavor.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wyf4lyf

        i've done this before, and the results are indeed delicious.

      2. Get your hands on a copy of Jane and Michael Stern's book, "Roadfood." IN it is a recipe for Bon Ton style Fried Chicken that is out of this world. It soaks overnight in a brine, then just floured and friend. Trust me, you'll never fry chicken any other way

        1. 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.

          1. one thing i do for extra crispy skin is unwrap the chicken pieces (i'm a leg girl) and pat them as dry as possible. lay them flat, not touching, on a sheet pan, and leave to "dry" in the fridge for 12-24 hours. makes for crackling crisp skin if dry-coating to fry.

            1. Since you mentioned non standard breading options , try some Panko.

              I have used it on "oven fried" chicken with very good results.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Brandon Nelson

                That was another question I had. Are there some breadings that are better than others when oven-frying which is probably the route I would go. I really want to try the Kings bread version, but not sure if that would just sog-up in the oven.

                1. re: rworange

                  If you're oven frying and you're not going to be using a ton of oil (which I assume you wouldn't if you're oven frying), you need a coating that's reasonably crispy to begin with, like panko of melba toast. Hawaiian bread would probably just end up getting soggy or pasty.

                  1. re: Humbucker

                    Unless you let the Hawaiian bread sit out for a while and get stale, crush it into crumbs.

                    1. re: nicoleberry83

                      I've seen recipes for dried potato flakes, corn flakes, nuts, croûtons, and many other things, why not Hawaiian bread?

                      Just dry it out well as though you were making croûtons, olive oil and seasonings, and grind to the degree you want.

              2. I used the Edna Lewis frying combo:

                Lard, Butter and piece of country ham.

                1. 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.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ben61820

                    I didn't make it, but I just had some chicken from a Chinese restaurant that was cooked this way. It was addictive. They had marinated the chicken in some nice spices too.

                  2. My mother uses corn starch instead of flour. I dont know what affect it has, but it feels lighter, and is ultra crispy on the outside and moist on the inside... yum!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: funmarysf

                      I use 1/4 to 1/3 corn or potato starch with flour for the rest becuse the wet buttermilk touches it and it sucks it up snd makes a nice thick crispy crust. I also use some bacon grease in the pork fat or lard. for flavor.

                      1. re: funmarysf

                        "My mother uses corn starch instead of flour."

                        this is the asian method for frying chicken, and its indeed much crisper than a regular flour coating.

                        1. re: funmarysf

                          I have tried cornstarch for chicken wings. They are called my "Extra Crunchy Wings"
                          I love them. Cornstarch works well for me!

                        2. 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.

                          1. 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.)

                            1. The secret to Calabash style seafood breaders is the use of cracker meal. Seems like it ought to adapt to fried chicken.

                              1. some soy sauce and chinese five spice powder in the marinade then cornstarch instead of flour (or you can use japanese bread crumbs) for an asian flair to the fried chicken

                                1. 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

                                  1. In Barbados we were served chicken fried in a sweet lemon fritter batter, accompanied by a hot peppery sauce.