Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Buttermilk Thyme Fried Chicken

What do you do when your thyme garden has been growing like crazy? Cut a huge handful and add it to this buttermilk bath for some fried chicken. That's what I did. And it was delicious! I was amazed when I took a bite of this chicken. Not only was it juicy, but the thyme really came out. It was the first flavor I tasted, making these fried chicken taste so fresh and earthy. Then you get the smokiness from the paprika.We were thinking we could experiment with other herbs, like rosemary, next time.

Buttermilk Thyme Fried Chicken


For the buttermilk bath:
8 chicken thighs
8 chicken legs
half a 1/2 gallon of buttermilk
1 large bundle of thyme
1 large garlic clove, smashed
3 bay leaves
2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the flour dredge:

2 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
4 tbsp buttermilk powder
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp dry mustard
4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

canola oil for frying 
2 tbsp of vegetable shortening

Prepare the buttermilk bath:
In a large tupperware, add all the ingredients for the buttermilk bath, and mix well. Place the lid on the tupperware and place the tupperware in the fridge. Let the chicken marinate for 4 hours.

Prepare the flour dredge by combining all the dredge ingredients in a large ziploc bag.

Add about an inch of canola oil and the vegetable shortening to a deep cast iron skillet. Heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F.

Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk mixture, letting the excess drip off. Transfer to the bag of seasoned flour, seal and shake to thoroughly coat. Remove from the bag and shake off any excess flour. Carefully lower the coated chicken into the oil. (Don't crowd your pan. I fried in small batches of 2-3 pieces of chicken at a time.) The temperature will drop, adjust the heat accordingly to keep the heat around 300-325 degrees F. After a few minutes, you can turn the chicken over. (You want to let it sit in oil undisturbed at first so the coating can set.) Fry a total of about 14-16 mins for thighs, and 12-14 mins for legs, turning as needed. Transfer the fried chicken onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet so it can drain, sprinkle with salt and let rest for a few minutes. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

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