Fried chicken and more

friedchickenFried chicken goes with summer.  You can buy really good fried chicken all over the east end of Long Island.  I haven’t indulged myself and made my own in years but decided it was time.  It was fantastic.  Four of us almost devoured two chickens!

The key is buttermilk.  I cut up two whole chickens and put them in a big plastic ziplock bag.  Then I filled it with buttermilk, salt, pepper, and a hint of chili pepper.  I was out of cayenne but that would be a good thing to add.  You could even add Old Bay.  Whatever you like.  I marinated this for over 24 hours.

Take the chickens out of the bag and let the buttermilk drip off of them right before you fry them.  Then dredge each piece in a flour mixture.  4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of Old Bay, 1/8 cup paprika, 1/8 cup black pepper, 1/8 cup kosher salt.  You could add more here too from celery salt to thyme but I like the Old Bay mix.

One thing you can do but I did not is dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then dip it again in the buttermilk and then coat again with the flour mixture.  I just stuck with buttermilk to flour.

Here is the real key.  Buy yourself a deep fryer.  They aren’t that expensive and you can use it outside.  I filled it up with canola oil, plugged it in and turned it up until the oil was as hot as it can get.  I put about 5 pieces at a time in the basket.  If you do it on the stove with a large cast iron pot then the pieces don’t touch each other which is certainly preferred but then the house smells like fried chicken for days on end.

I let the chicken sit in the hot oil for 8 minutes.  Then took it out and put it on a tray covered with paper towels to absorb some oil. Really not very greasy at all.  Then I put the pieces into the oven at 200 degrees.  After the last batch was in the fryer, I cranked the heat in the oven to 350 because the chicken was not done yet (use a thermometer for this and it should be at 180).

I put the last batch in the oven and we sat down to eat the rest (which was done).  Took out the last pieces about 10 minutes later. Served this up with some hot sauces and you are in business.

Sides were a Japanese cole slaw (thinly sliced napa cabbage and red cabbage) then mixed at the last minute with recipe below.  I will do this again.  You have to mix this up right before you serve it because if the sauce sits on the cabbage it gets limp.  You want it to remain crispy.

  1. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds.
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce.
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil.

Also a tomato, corn and basil salad with a splash of white wine vinegar, olive oil and salt.  This screams summer.

Margaritas on the side….and we were one happy crew.