The BEST Crispy Fried Chicken

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

So, here's the thing: I've got a serious affliction. Every 22 days I get a deep, primal urge for fried chicken.  It use to be manageable, I could head to my local favourite restaurant and gorge on a 1/2 fried chicken. The craving would subside, but I was never quite satisfied. Then I started trying recipes, testing techniques and now - there is no going back. This recipe is not quick, but it produces the most succulent, juicy, crispy fried chicken I've ever had. EVER. 

All good recipes start with the best ingredients and the quality of your chicken is no exception. I opt to buy a whole chicken and cut it into 12 pieces. It's cheaper and it makes me feel ... manly. If you've never butchered a chicken it's also remarkably easy.  All you need is a half decent knife and a quick lesson from youtube, I like this one. 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Up next in our fried chicken journey is a buttermilk brine. This step seasons, flavours and tenderizes the chicken. More importantly, brining the chicken also pumps it full of moisture so that when you fry it the result is the juiciest, most succulent chicken you've ever sunk your teeth into. Don't. Skip. This. Step. (Please.) 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Before frying, we need to dry out the skin of the chicken. If we don't do this, the chicken won't fry properly and you'll get a soggy (and oily) crust. This is accomplished by removing the chicken from the buttermilk brine a couple of hours before we want to fry it and placing it on a cooling rack to drip dry. It works perfectly and results in that crunchy crust we're after. 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

After a quick dunk in flour and a buttermilk batter, we're ready for the oil. This step is especially suited to enlisting the help of others (thanks Mara & Aaron!).  Heated to 375 F the chicken only needs about 5-6 minutes on the first side and an addition 4-5 minutes on the second.

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Couple of tips here: use a cast iron pan (it helps retain the heat better) and don't overcrowd the chicken. Adding too much chicken to the oil can cause the temperature to drop substantially, which means the chicken won't crisp-up and instead will become laden with oil.  Fry in small batches (~4 pieces), keeping the chicken warm in the oven until ready. 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

And here is our result. Excuse me while I bombard you with photos... 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

More fried chicken...

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

I think this vantage really offers something the last didn't...

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Aaaannnnd, here it is on a plate instead:

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Alright, alright. That's enough, I'll stop spamming you. But - as you might imagine - I really like this fried chicken... I can't help myself... and it really tastes that good.  

Chicken aside, I had a blast gathering some friends in the kitchen, pouring some beer, and deep frying to our content. I hope you get the chance to try this recipe out, and if you do - I'd love to hear how it goes. 

 

Until next week...

James Ede Signature


Easy, One-Pot Persian Chicken

Easy, One-pot Persian Chicken - Bake, Braise & Broil

Doesn't that look amazzzzzzing?! It tastes amazing too. I've tweaked this over the years after finding the original recipe (here.) The middle eastern inspired spices contribute a flavour punch that's hard to beat and pomegranate and onion add a sweetness that rounds it out.

Making this recipe particularly great? It's damn easy and feeds a crowd.  It frequents my impress-but-don't-stress recipe rotation.  This recipe is my go-to when I want an easy supper thats high on flavour and low on effort. That said, this does have a long cook time - over three hours. And while that produces succulent, fall-off-the-bone chicken, it does require you to prep ahead.  I don't own a slow cooker (one day, hopefully!) but I would imagine this would be perfectly suited for it. The star of this show: chicken thighs.

Easy, One-Pot Persian Chicken

If you can, use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. This cut produces the most flavour - that skin crisps up and the bones contribute to a rich stock underneath. For those looking for a healthier alternative, skinless, boneless chicken thighs are perfectly suited. However, I would caution anyone from using chicken breast. The long cook time requires a fattier piece of meat and chicken breast would likely dry out and become quite tough. Go for the thigh! 

This recipe does require one specialty ingredient (sorry! I do my best to avoid these): Pomegranate Molasses.  I recognize that many of you won't have this at home. I certainly didn't.  But I hope I can persuade you to buy it - it's should be available at any middle eastern grocer. It's now a staple in my pantry - sticky and sweet, it is awesome for salad dressing, marinades, you name it - and it can't be mimicked. If you absolutely can't find it - substitute a fruit chutney or fruit syrup in its place.  

Easy, One-Pot Persian Chicken

Up next: walnuts. It may seem odd, but I assure you with the spices it tastes fantastic. 

Easy, One-pot Persian Chicken

After a quick browning of the chicken, and throwing most everything else into the pot, you're left with this.  I keep the chicken about 1/2 submerged to preserve that crispy skin. 

Easy, One-pot Persian Chicken

And after a quick roast in the oven (ok... not so quick... 3 hours) you're left with a delectable, fall-off-the-bone chicken that is packed with flavour. Garnished with some fresh pomegranate adds a punch of fruit flavour and freshness. 

Easy, One-pot Persian Chicken
Easy, One-pot Persian Chicken

 

Served over fresh jasmine rice, this dish is super satisfying. AND, if any of you try this in a slow cooker, please let me know! I'd love to hear how it turns out.

Until next week....

James Ede Signature