Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Andy's Fried Chicken

For some reason, whenever we thaw chicken, bad things happen.
We are planning on having some friends for dinner and planned Fried Chicken for dinner. Being somewhat kind hosts… we like to try recipes prior to our guests coming – especially the bad things we’ve heard about Fried Chicken and how tough it is to cook.
So… I bought a chicken, we thawed it, Andy was so proud of butchering it – with Alton Brown at hand via YouTube to help guide his cuts. It soaked in a brine overnight, then the gallbladder hit. Andy’s, not mine – mine is gone. That night Andy had a gallbladder attack so off to the doc… he was put on a clear liquid diet for that day. Sure, no sweat, we were just going to put the chicken in buttermilk. Oh wait… the BRAT diet from then on. So… Fried Chicken isn’t on the BRAT diet? Ugh…. So…. We rinsed the chicken…. Then waited a few days, did the buttermilk soak, then poor sad Andy, he made me the Fried Chicken. He couldn’t have any… sadly it still wasn’t on the BRAT died. I was able to eat it, and it was great!
Now… we’ll be having baked chicken that night… something a bit easier on his now gallbladderless system. :)

Andy's Fried Chicken
What you need!
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 quarts cold water
One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying

What to do!
In a pot, dissolve 1/2 cup of the salt in the water. Submerge the chicken in the brine; refrigerate overnight.
Drain and rinse the chicken. Rinse out the pot. Add the buttermilk, submerge the chicken in the buttermilk and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.

P.S. Love the first picture of him trying to find the wishbone... he swore it couldn't possibly have one, he found it later. :)

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