Hectic schedules, homework, late work days, you name it and it has a way of interfering with life in general, including cooking dinner. We ended up having leftovers the last 2 nights because of crazy schedules, doctor’s appointments and everyday life, but today I am going to get back in the kitchen and I am going to make some fried chicken.
I don’t make fried chicken too often, and when I do I usually oven fry it to cut down on the mess and all the oil needed, but tonight I think I am going to really fry it. I could use the deep fryer, but I am going to do it on the stove this time, and I am going to try a different recipe tonight, one I got from America’s Test Kitchen.
1 quart buttermilk
3 tablespoons salt
4 pounds bone in chicken pieces (halved split breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks)
5 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
5 to 6 cups vegetable oil
Whisk 3 1/4 cups of the buttermilk and the salt together in a large bowl until the salt dissolves. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (Don’t let the chicken soak much longer or it will become too salty).
Whisk the flour, baking powder, thyme, pepper, and garlic powder together in a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak and then coat thoroughly with the flour mixture and lay it on a wire rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour 1 inch of the oil into a large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add half of the chicken, skin-side down. Cover and cook until deep golden brown on the first side, about 10 minutes (After the first 4 minutes, re-arrange the pieces if some are browning faster than others).
Turn the chicken pieces over. Continue to fry, uncovered and maintaining an oil temperature of 315 degrees, until the chicken pieces are a deep golden on the second side, about 7 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain for 5 minutes, then lay on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Add additional oil to the pot as needed to maintain a depth of 1 inch and return it to 375 degrees before frying the remaining chicken.
With the fried chicken, I am going to serve mashed potatoes and gravy. I have made mashed potatoes many times in the meal plan, and if you would like to see the method I use for the potatoes, you can check an earlier blog posting here. You definitely need to have some gravy with this one as well. I have posted a quick chicken gravy recipe before, but since I don’t have any pan drippings to use, I am going to use the all purpose gravy recipe that I have used in the past.
All Purpose Gravy
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
1 onion, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
5 whole black peppercorns
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook until softened and well browned, about 9 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly browned, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broths and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20-25 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface.
Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer (or gravy separator) into a clean saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
I’ll be serving all this with some simple steamed green beans. It’s just a pound of green beans (stem ends trimmed) in a steaming rack in a large pot of boiling water just touching the rack. I cover and steam the green beans for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the beans are crisp-tender.
If there are any leftovers, there’s nothing like some cold fried chicken with some potato salad for a nice lunch or dinner the next day. Tomorrow is Friday, which means we’ll be having fish. I picked up some tilapia this morning so we’ll be having a nice simple baked tilapia with some brown rice and asparagus tomorrow. Check out the blog tomorrow so you can see how it goes. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!