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Buttermilk Fried Chicken | Recipe Competition with Kitchen & Craft



This recipe is my attempt to make a traditional, Southern pan-fried chicken as easily as possible The hardest part, for beginners at least, will be cutting up a whole, raw chicken into at least eight pieces

The reason you’ll probably need to do that is because you need a small chicken — 3 to 325 pounds is perfect, I think The chicken pieces they sell pre-cut at grocery stores, in the States at least, are usually from bigger, older birds — 4 or 5 pounders, maybe You need a little one for fried chicken, and you can usually only buy that whole Even then, this 3-and-a-half pounder was the smallest I could get

That’s the upper maximum of any bird I would consider frying If you’re scared about cutting this up, I’m gonna get you through it The first part is the most gruesome You cut out the chicken’s backbone with a pair of kitchen shears Just snip up one side of the spine, then snip up the other

With a small chicken it shouldn’t take too much grip strength Freeze that for stock, if you’re one of those people Flip the bird around, and that is what is amusingly referred to as a spatchcocked chicken, which is great for roasting whole But we’re gonna take a big, sharp chef’s knife and cut between the two breasts, right through the breast bone That might take some force, so commit to it! We now have two half-chickens, and without the backbone, there’s almost nothing holding the leg quarters to the breast quarters — just some skin and a little flap of flesh

Pull the leg out away from the breast and cut through the skin connecting them With that opened up, you should be able to see this very thin area of meat connecting the two quarters Just slice through it on the board You might catch a rib with your knife Just crunch through it, I say

Then, to separate the leg from the thigh, I cut between them until I hit bone Then I pick them up and hyperextend that joint Literally dislocate it Ideally, it just pops apart, like that one did, and then all you gotta do is cut through the remaining meat on the other side Now here is the breast with the wing attached

Some people fry that thing whole I think that is way too much meat Some people just cut off the wing, but what I like to do is go up two-thirds of the way from that thin point, and cut down, right through the bone Alright, for review, let’s do this again with the other half Pull the leg away from the breast and cut through the skin between

You’ll see a thin flap of flesh connecting the quarters Just slice through that Grab the leg quarter Cut into the crook between the leg and the thigh until you hit bone One hand on the thigh, one hand on the leg, hyperextend the joint

Sometimes the joint won’t pop apart, but it will open up to where you can see the sinew connecting the joint Once it’s exposed, it’s really easy to fit your knife right into it and then cut straight down to the board There’s your thigh and leg Now grab the breast, go up two thirds of the way from the point, and cut down with some force, right through the bone There you go

Eight nice, tidy pieces of chicken, all of pretty similar size I’d call that enough for four people Eat more fried chicken than that and it’s just gonna end your day right there right there Time to season Really aggressively

Lots of salt These are thick pieces of meat that are gonna have a big, thick crust on them Lots of pepper Then I sprinkle over onion powder, garlic powder, and you gotta pour out a little cayenne for Chef John Flip the pieces around and put the same stuff on the other side

If you wanted an herbal note I’d suggest some dried sage and thyme Then, I just mop up the seasoning that’s left on the board with the big sides of those pieces that haven’t gotten much seasoning yet OK, now some people would dry-cure these pieces in the seasoning, just like this, for a few hours before breading and frying I’ve tried that, that works really nice, and it gets you crispy skin But I like the Southern-style fried chicken that’s brined in buttermilk

The normal thing to do then would’ve been to mix my seasoning in with buttermilk and then submerge my chicken But I think that’s too hard I don’t want to do math and **** to calculate the proper salinity of a brine solution I can eyeball it by just seasoning the meat The size and shape of the pieces tell me how much to put on

Yes, I know I left out a leg All the pieces go into a ziplock bag and rather than submerge them, I pour in just enough buttermilk to coat the pieces in a thick paste of seasoning and buttermilk That was maybe half a cup This gets you the exact same flavor while wasting far less seasoning and buttermilk Speaking of buttermilk, I mentioned in my strawberries with pound cake video that you can approximate buttermilk by adding a splash of vinegar to regular milk

I’m going to test whether that works with fried chicken by using it on this leg It gets its own little baggie Throw the bag on a plate, throw the plate in the fridge, and I brine for a full 24 hours Some people will say that makes the pieces too salty I think they come out just right

But you could get away with less time Alright, next day For breading, I use a big Tupperware and a rack Get the chicken out to start warming up, that’ll help it cook evenly Dump two cups of flour in the Tupperware

Put in a teaspoon of salt, and the magic ingredient: baking powder A heaped teaspoon I resisted this for years I thought it would make the crust cakey, but it doesn’t It makes it light and crispy

Then I just grind in a bunch of pepper and that’s it This is really just precautionary seasoning There’s plenty of seasoning on that chicken already that’s gonna mix with the flour You’ll see And I do not put any garlic or onion powder in the flour because it burns so easily

I want it protected underneath the outermost crust layer Meh, a little more cayenne for Chef John Put the lid on, then shake to combine everything OK, as I pull each piece of chicken out, I’m just scraping it against the bag to get off the drippiest drips of buttermilk I’ll put four pieces into the Tupperware at a time, then put the lid on and shake to coat

Alright, pull those out onto a rack, and no, I’m not putting anything under that rack I’m gonna have to wipe down this whole table anyway so there is no point Alright, rest of the chicken goes in the flour, including our experimental leg brined in milk spiked with vinegar Lid goes on, shake it up Vinegar leg is on the right, vinegar leg is on the right, don’t let me forget, vinegar leg is on the right

Now that’s just the primer coat of crust The top coat will adhere a lot better if we use some egg So, I crack an egg into my bag, and I just beat it up with my fingers, combining it with all the remaining buttermilk-seasoning paste And all the chicken goes back in the bag whence it came If you thought my crust was going to be under-seasoned, think again

It’s getting another dose Now, as each piece comes out again, make sure it’s got an even, thin coating of egg sludge, I shake it up again in the flour, four pieces at a time Vinegar leg is on the right, vinegar leg is on the right Now, I’d let these pieces sit on the rack for a good half hour Some people call this step drying

I think that’s wrong I think it’s wetting I think the flour particles are hydrating in the egg and buttermilk, and that’s gonna help the crust hang together To the oven If you have a very, very large frying pan, you might be able to fry all pieces at the same time

They might fit in there, but with most ranges, you’re gonna get uneven heat The middle is gonna be hotter than the rim The pieces in the middle might burn You could cook the chicken in two batches in sequence, but I rather fry in two smaller pans simultaneously Two 10-inch skillets

These are nonstick but I don’t think that really matters This is a good-sized pan of which to own multiples anyway, because it’s so versatile, and these were $25 each We’ll also need a rack for draining, and this is one of those times I think a meat thermometer really helps Vegetable oil, or peanut oil, or anything neutral goes in and I’m just starting with half an inch of oil The chicken is gonna displace a lot, raising the oil level, and we can always add more oil if we need it

I’ll put the burners on medium heat, and wait a few minutes until I see the oil kinda swirling around on its own I lay the pieces in skin-side down, because the first side we cook is gonna look a little bit nicer in the end Another advantage of using two pans is you can put all the white meat in one, and all the dark meat in the other They cook differently, so it’s great to have independent control over them There’s the four breast pieces, now here come the thighs and legs

Vinegar leg is on the right, vinegar leg is on the right, copy that? Vinegar leg is on the right Now here’s what, I think, is the best temperature at which to fry chicken It is not a roaring boil, it’s not even a sizzle, it’s more of a fizzle I had to turn both of these burners down to virtually their lowest setting I just want the oil kinda fizzing

Let’s find out what temperature fizzing is Wow, 250 Fahrenheit That’s all You might think I’m crazy, you might think I’m never gonna get crispy chicken at such a low fry temperature, but here’s why this works These are big, thick pieces of chicken with bones still in them

They need to cook a long time to cook all the way through If we were to fry these at 350, the crust would be way too dark by the time the meat was cooked, maybe even burned I see that on Instagram all the time I like my fried chicken blonde-going-on-gold, never dark brown If the crust is still looking pale as the meat is getting close to done, we can just turn up the heat at the end to crisp everything off really quickly

I flipped these after 15 minutes, when I could see that the crust on the underside had fully formed Throughout this process, you want your oil level to come halfway up the sides of the chicken I already had to add more oil to the white meat pan, because those pieces are so tall, and even then, this one piece is getting crazy tall as its proteins contract and it bunches up Here’s the best solution if this happens to you Stand it up on its end

Mount Cluckmore! Alright, time to start checking the temperature You’re looking for 160 in the white meat Take lots of measurements You’re gonna get a lot of weird readings as you hit pockets of oil or pieces of bone that’ll be way hotter than the bulk of the meat The old-fashioned way to check it if was done was to pierce it and look at the color of the juice that spills out

See that red juice coming out of the leg in the back there? That’s how you know that’s not done The juice should be clear You can see at this point, I’m letting the oil get hotter The chicken is mostly cooked, so now it’s safe to start coloring the crust It’s been another 15 minutes since a flipped them, and at this stage I like to flip them again

Just making sure that all sides are really crunchy I’ve got my heat up to medium now The white meat is reading 160 to 165 This bird is cooked Out it comes to the rack

Again, I’m gonna have to wipe down the whole range, there’s no point in putting something under the rack, don’t @ me Vinegar leg is on the right, roger wilco, vinegar leg is on the right That was 35 minutes of cooking, total If we’d been frying a bigger bird, that would have taken way longer, it wouldn’t have cooked as evenly, and there’d be way too much meat relative to the crust Vinegar leg is on the right

That’s why it’s worth cutting up your own 3-pounder Meh, I’ll make one big chicken mountain, that’ll be better for the thumbnail Vinegar leg is on the right And let’s taste it We’re seeing if chicken brined in fake buttermilk tastes the same as real buttermilk

Holy crap that’s good Lauren tried both legs too, and we agreed that the real buttermilk leg tastes a little better But it’s a pretty subtle difference that I doubt I’d notice in the absence of a direct comparison At clean-up time, you could filter your fry oil through a cheese cloth and use it again, but that’s not a thing I’m actually going to do I take it outside and bury it in my vegetable garden

It’s good fertilizer, and you know you can’t just send this stuff down your drain, right? It’ll bust your pipes, and that is not a euphemism You don’t actually need to dig a hole, I just want to totally preclude the possibility of my children splashing around in an oil puddle So how do you think I did? This video was my entry in a little competition between myself and Tim over at Kitchen & Craft Check out his channel He’s good

He’s like me but with a much nicer camera He made his own fried chicken video, and for the first few days these videos are up, you can vote on who made it best So, here’s how the rules work Go down to the pinned comment at the bottom of either video and simply reply with the name of you the person you want to vote for Just say, “Adam,” or “Tim

” At 8 pm on the Sunday following this release, 8 pm eastern time in the U

S, we will stop taking votes and we will tabulate the results, and we will determine who won, and we will announce that winner on Monday The winner will get … profit? I don’t know Just remember this is just for fun, so I hope you vote, and I hope you keep your comments positive We’re not making world peace here

We’re just making chicken Though honestly, this chicken is almost that good

Source: Youtube

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