The last several months have been as busy as any in my life. We’re coming to the end of a large project at work which means that the hours are particularly long and I’ve had to travel for business for several weeks. Add to that the holidays and a vacation, it means that I’ve barely had time to make dinner, let alone post about it.
But I did have enough time make some fried chicken the other night. I’ve tried quite a few recipes for fried chicken, including one I posted before. And while some of them have been good, I never quite found one that was perfect. I think I’ve come a lot closer.
The brine keeps the fried chicken from drying out while adding flavor to the meat. The crust is nearly perfect. I kept picking out pieces that had fallen off the frying chicken and eating it. It was even better eaten with the chicken.
Ad Hoc Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Adopted from Ad Hoc at Home
2 1/2 to 3 lbs chicken
2 cups buttermilk
peanut oil for deep frying
8 cups water
1 lemon, halved
6 bay leaves
1 small bunch thyme
1 small bunch Italian parsley
2 tbsp honey
5 garlic cloves, cut in half width-wise
1/2 cup kosher salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Bring the brine ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator until cold.
- Cut the chicken into 10 pieces (2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 4 breast pieces). Add to the brine and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least several hours.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 1/2 hours before cooking.
- Heat the oil in a large pot to 320ºF.
- Prepare two baking sheets with cooling racks on them.
- Whisk together the coating in a shallow bowl. Place the buttermilk in another shallow bowl.
- Dredge the chicken, first through the flour coating, then in the buttermilk, then again in the flour coating. Place the chicken on one of the baking sheets.
- When the oil is hot, add the legs and thighs to the oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until it begins to color.
- Add the breast and wing pieces to the oil and cook for 10 to 12 minutes more or until the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and place on the second baking sheet.
- Allow the chicken to cool slightly then serve.
Serves 2 to 3.