Monday, December 2, 2013

Claritha's Fried Chicken


The virtues of this recipe lie in the incredible crispness of the coating and the juiciness of the meat.  Your kitchen also won't be all oil-splattered with this method which calls for frying in fairly low heat in a covered pot.  Salting the chicken overnight draws out excess moisture so that spattering is kept to a minimum and the chicken remains flavorful and tender.

Claritha's Fried Chicken
Adapted from the Gourmet Cookbook
Serves 6-8

8 chicken thighs or legs with skin on
1/2 cup kosher salt
3 cups buttermilk
2 onions, sliced
1 cup flour (use CUP4CUP for a gluten-free version)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 sticks vegetable shortening (about 2 cups)
1 stick butter

Put chicken pieces in a medium bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 cup kosher salt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.  Combine buttermilk and onions in a large bowl.  Rinse the chicken pieces to remove most of the salt and add to the buttermilk.  Marinate, covered, overnight.

In a plastic bag combine the flour, cayenne pepper and black pepper and shake to mix well.  Shake excess liquid from one piece of chicken and add to the bag.  Shake to coat well and transfer to a sheet of wax paper.  Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.  Let chicken air dry for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Heat shortening and butter in a Dutch oven or similar heavy pot with high sides until hot but not smoking. Allow the temperature of the melted shortening to reach 350 degrees before adding chicken pieces. Arrange 4 pieces of chicken in the pot, cover, reduce heat to low and cook 7-10 minutes.  Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for 7-10 more minutes until juices run clear when pierced with a knife.  Transfer cooked pieces to a pan lined with paper towels and keep warm in oven.  Cook remaining chicken pieces in the same way, adding peanut oil to the pot if necessary.

Serve warm with mashed potatoes.

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