“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” — Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, from Pavarotti, My Own Story
The grands call it chicken on the bone…
There are just some days that nothing but a piece of fried chicken will do to put you in your happy place…and while we enjoy an overwhelming list of vegetables each week, you just need something plain evil now and then and fried chicken fills that bill.
I’m not an expert on fried chicken by any means, but I know what I like, the crunchiest coating and juicy meat is always my goal. The recipe from America’s Test Kitchen was the perfect recipe for me and a keeper, I actually followed a recipe with no changes right down to using a Dutch oven to fry the chicken.
I pretty much buy nothing but “Smart Chicken” these days as I am never disappointed in the consistent results adding that the best thing about them is the fact that they are not huge funky colored whole oversized birds and I enjoy some of the convenience just as much…love the cutlets. So if you love chicken look for and try a smart chicken and as I always say, it surely is a damn smart chicken that keeps me buying them.
Crispy Fried Chicken
2 cups buttermilk plus 6 additional tablespoons
2 tablespoons table salt *way too much salt so for me I used maybe 3/4 teaspoon and seasoned chicken just out of the fryer with your favorite seasoned salt…I had Crazy Jane’s salt
1 whole chicken (about 3½ pounds), cut into 8 pieces, giblets discarded, wings and back reserved for stock
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4–5 cups vegetable shortening or peanut oil
1. Whisk 2 cups buttermilk and salt in large bowl until salt is dissolved. Add chicken pieces and stir to coat; cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. 1 hour is plenty if you are using those 2 tablespoons of salt
2. Blend flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and garlic powder together in large bowl. Add remaining 6 tablespoons buttermilk; with your fingers rub flour and buttermilk together until buttermilk is evenly incorporated into flour and mixture resembles coarse wet sand.
3. Working in batches of two, drop chicken pieces into flour mixture and turn to thoroughly coat, gently pressing flour mixture onto chicken. Shake excess flour from each piece of chicken and transfer to wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet.
4. Heat oil (it should measure ¾ inch deep) in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with 11-inch diameter over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees. Place chicken pieces, skin-side down, in oil, cover, and fry until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove lid after 4 minutes and lift chicken pieces to check for even browning; rearrange if some pieces are browning faster than others. (At this point, oil should be about 300 degrees. Adjust burner, if necessary, to regulate temperature of oil.) Turn chicken pieces over and continue to fry, uncovered, until chicken pieces are deep golden brown on second side, 6 to 8 minutes longer. (At this point, to keep chicken from browning too quickly, adjust burner to maintain oil temperature of about 315 degrees.) Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate lined with paper towels; let stand for 5 minutes to drain. Serve.