Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Ad Hoc Style

Following the advice of Chef Thomas Keller in one of his cook book, I tried to make the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, again.  I highly recommend the "Ad Hoc" cookbook.  It contains many good tips and cooking methods that produce wonderful meals.  I wished I had the time to attend the cooking workshop on the very buttermilk fried chicken by Ad Hoc restaurant back in January, but I wasn't able to, so I thought I can do it at home and better this time.  With determination, I invested in good organic whole chicken.  The usual sanitation ritual of the sink and cooking area took place in my kitchen - just for the chicken to be welcomed.  Salted the chicken and trimmed it and washed it.  Prepared the Lemon Salt brine, and brined the chicken accordingly for 12 hours.  In the mean time, I thought about the skillet to fry the chicken in.  I recall the agony of controlling the temperature, and truthfully, if it were mama Murray to fry chicken, she doesn't need  any of the stuff I need to fry the chicken.  All she need is the iron skillet and oil.  But I don't have 'it', so... I decided to use my electric skillet with the temperature controller.  I am glad, I didn't donate this skillet, because it is without the Teflon coating.  It is plain aluminum electric skillet that can handle the frying temperature.  The coating to the chicken was quite simple -
A bowl of buttermilk
A bowl of flour with spices
A bowl of flour
The rest is in the grouping of the dark meat and frying the group according to the recipe.
And to my happiness, the chicken turned out golden brown and done.
The ingredients are the same ones I previously posted a couple of years ago.
6 C AP Flour
1/4 C garlic powder
1/4 C onion powder
1 TB plus 1 tsp paprika
1 TB plus 1 tsp cayenne
1 TB plus 1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Brine good for 10 lb of chicken, so if needed, cut the recipe into halves:
5 lemons, halved
24 bay leaves
1 bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley - I used half as much
1 bunch (1 ounce) thyme
1/2 C clover honey
1 head garlic, halved through the equator
1/4 C black peppercorns
2 C (10 oz) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
2 gallons water
Bring to boil and Boil them all together for 1 min in a pot that can fit into your refrigerator.  Cool completely and chill before using. 

Wipe dry and or air dry the chicken pieces before dredging.

*Note: Sprinkle the fried chicken with salt and turn skin side up to allow extra oil to drip off.
Frying time:
320'F
Thighs - 2 min - move around; fry 11 to 12 min until deep golden brown and cooked through
Drumsticks - the same as thighs

340'F
Breasts - 7 min or until golden brown.
Wings - 6 min or until golden brown

Serve the chicken by presenting the chicken at the dining table allowing to rest for 7 to 10 minutes before biting in.

I used my favorite Tupperware marinade container I had for many years.  I didn't have enough lemon, so I recruited Orange peels (without pith).
 The chicken pieces actually have the signs of "cooked" from the acidic brine.
 Mix the spices well with the flour.
 Since this skillet is about 3's deep, I was very careful to give some room for hot oil to balloon up. 
And here they are.  Delicious buttermilk fried chicken.  Moist and tender inside and crispy and tasty outside.
 And, What!! clean up??!!  So it is.  I use coffee filters to help me filter the oil.  I repeat it about two times.


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