Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Crispy Fried Chicken
You may recall my first post on Fried Chicken ages ago (three years!!), and it was a good recipe. But I recently saw another on TV that intrigued me: the usual chicken coating of flour was blended with cornmeal and double-dredged to intensify the crunch factor, and would still be crispy later in the day if you wanted to take it to a picnic.
I skipped most of the brining instructions, and simplified it to an hour's soak of cold water with some salt. Still came out very juicy. I can vouch for the extra crunchy/crispy factor, but I don't know about hours later; we ate them right away, and the next day out of the fridge they were no longer crunchy but crisped up again in the toaster oven. I think I've got a new favorite recipe, or maybe just for the next three years.
Brined and Fried Chicken
From Mad Hungry
1 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
FOR THE BRINE
2 quarts cold water
2/3 cup coarse salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup fine ground cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 large eggs
3 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
Combine 1 cup water with remaining brining ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring just until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Combine brine mixture with remaining cold water in a large bowl or deep baking dish. Add chicken to bowl, making sure chicken is covered with the brining liquid. Store in fridge at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Remove chicken from brining liquid and pat dry. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and red pepper flakes in a shallow dish. Whisk eggs in another shallow dish. Coat chicken in flour mixture, then eggs, and again in flour mixture. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.
Heat oil to 350 degrees in a large pot. Working in 2 batches, fry chicken for 15 minutes, turning once, until chicken is deep golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve hot or cold.