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A Cooking Adventure with Thom


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Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken

America's Test Kitchen Cooking School

http://www.onlinecookingschool.com/courses/83

Servings: 4

My family loves fried chicken.  This is a recipe that begins by frying and then finishing in the oven.  The chicken becomes really crispy on the outside and remains moist on the inside. 

 

Ingredients


2 Cups plus 6 tablespoons buttermilk
2 Tablespoons table salt
1 whole chicken (about 3 ½ pounds) *
3 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
¾ Teaspoon dried thyme
½ Teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ Teaspoon garlic powder
4 Cups peanut oil * *

* Because the chicken is put into a buttermilk brine, do not use a kosher chicken, which has been salted during processing. For the best flavor, purchase a good-quality chicken. Bell & Evans is the test kitchen’s favorite, but is not sold in all parts of the country; use whatever high-quality chicken is available to you. If your chicken is larger than 3 1/2 pounds, you may have to fry the chicken in two batches instead of in a single batch.
* * You can also use vegetable shortening or vegetable oil in this recipe. Do not use canola oil.

Tools
1. Cutting board
2. Chef’s knife
3. Kitchen shears
4. Liquid measuring cup
5. Whisk
6. Measuring spoons
7. Dry measuring cups
8. Wire rack
9. Rimmed baking sheet
10. Dutch oven *
11. Candy/deep-fry thermometer * *
12. Tongs
13. Paper towels

* A pot that’s at least 11 inches in diameter will allow you to fry all the pieces at once. If your pot is smaller (or has a capacity of less than 6 quarts), you will need to fry the chicken in two batches.
* * We prefer to clip a candy/deep-fry thermometer onto the side of the pot before turning on the heat. However, if you have a digital instant-read thermometer capable of registering temperatures up to 400 degrees, you can spot-check the oil instead.

Cooking Method

Prepare Chicken

1.      Remove chicken giblets and discard. Using chef’s knife, cut off legs, one at a time, by severing joint between leg and body.

2.      Cut each leg into 2 pieces—the drumstick and thigh—by slicing through joint (marked by thin line of fat).

3.      Flip chicken over and remove wings by slicing through each wing joint.

4.      Turn chicken on its side and, using kitchen shears, remove back. (Reserve back and wings for stock.)

5.      Flip breast skin side down and, using chef’s knife, cut in half through breast plate (marked by thin white line of cartilage).

6.      Flip each breast piece over and cut in half crosswise. You should now have 8 pieces (2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 4 breast pieces), leaving skin and bone intact.

 

Soak Chicken

1.      Whisk together 2 cups buttermilk and 2 tablespoons salt in large bowl until salt is dissolved.

2.      Add chicken pieces to bowl and stir to coat.

3.      Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Don’t let chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty.)

 

Coat Chicken

1.      Whisk 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder together in large bowl.

2.      Add remaining 6 tablespoons buttermilk.

3.      With your fingers, rub flour and buttermilk together until buttermilk is evenly incorporated into flour and mixture resembles coarse, wet sand.

4.      Working in batches of two, drop chicken pieces into flour mixture and turn to thoroughly coat, gently pressing flour mixture onto chicken.

5.      Shake excess flour from each piece of chicken and transfer to wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet.

 

Heat Oil

1.      Clip candy/deep fry thermometer onto side of large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with 11-inch diameter.

2.      Heat 4 to 5 cups peanut oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees; the fat should measure 3/4 inch deep.

 

Fry Chicken

1.      Place chicken pieces skin side down in oil.

2.      Cover and fry for 4 minutes.

3.      Remove lid and lift chicken pieces to check for even browning; rearrange if some pieces are browning faster than others.

4.      Check temperature of oil. Oil should be about 300 degrees. Adjust burner, if necessary, to regulate temperature of oil.

5.      Cover and continue frying until deep golden brown, another 4 to 6 minutes.

6.      Using tongs, turn chicken pieces over.

7.      Check temperature of oil. To keep chicken from browning too quickly, adjust burner to maintain oil temperature of about 315 degrees for remainder of cooking time.

8.      Continue to fry, uncovered, until chicken pieces are deep golden brown on second side, 6 to 8 minutes longer.

9.      Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate lined with paper towels.

10.  Let stand for 5 minutes to drain, and serve.

Step By Step

Small

1. Remove chicken giblets and discard. Using chef’s knife, cut off legs, one at a time, by severing joint between leg and body.

Small

2. Cut each leg into 2 pieces—the drumstick and thigh—by slicing through joint (marked by thin line of fat).

Small

3. Flip chicken over and remove wings by slicing through each wing joint.

Small

4. Turn chicken on its side and, using kitchen shears, remove back. (Reserve back and wings for stock.)

Small

5. Flip breast skin side down and, using chef’s knife, cut in half through breast plate (marked by thin white line of cartilage).

Small

6. Flip each breast piece over and cut in half crosswise. You should now have 8 pieces (2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 4 breast pieces), leaving skin and bone intact.

Small

7. Whisk together 2 cups buttermilk and 2 tablespoons salt in large bowl until salt is dissolved.

Small

8. Add chicken pieces to bowl and stir to coat.

Small

9. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Don’t let chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty.)

Small

10. Whisk 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder together in large bowl.

Small

11. Add remaining 6 tablespoons buttermilk.

Small

12. With your fingers, rub flour and buttermilk together until buttermilk is evenly incorporated into flour and mixture resembles coarse, wet sand.

Small

13. Working in batches of two, drop chicken pieces into flour mixture and turn to thoroughly coat, gently pressing flour mixture onto chicken.

Small

14. Shake excess flour from each piece of chicken and transfer to wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet.

Small

15. Clip candy/deep fry thermometer onto side of large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with 11-inch diameter.

Small

16. Heat 4 to 5 cups peanut oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees; the fat should measure 3/4 inch deep.

Small

17. Place chicken pieces skin side down in oil.

Small

18. Cover and fry for 4 minutes.

Small

19. Remove lid and lift chicken pieces to check for even browning; rearrange if some pieces are browning faster than others.

Small

20. Check temperature of oil. Oil should be about 300 degrees. Adjust burner, if necessary, to regulate temperature of oil.

Small

21. Cover and continue frying until deep golden brown, another 4 to 6 minutes.

Small

22. Using tongs, turn chicken pieces over.

Small

23. Check temperature of oil. To keep chicken from browning too quickly, adjust burner to maintain oil temperature of about 315 degrees for remainder of cooking time.

Small

24. Continue to fry, uncovered, until chicken pieces are deep golden brown on second side, 6 to 8 minutes longer.

Small

25. Using tongs, transfer chicken to plate lined with paper towels.

Small

26. Let stand for 5 minutes to drain, and serve.

     
819 Mountshire Terrace, Chester, Virginia 23836 Phone: (804) 530-1183