Thursday, October 08, 2009

Even More Fried Chicken...

Interesting timing of this NY Times Article. Southern Fried Chicken has no flavor? I disagree. I'm a huge fan of Korean fried chicken and other creative forms of fried chicken, but to say Southern Fried Chicken is only in the crust is insulting. Interestingly, I do use a generous amount of Old Bay to season my flour/cornmeal, as well as smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder among a few other things. When I fry whole birds I like to shallow fry, but for these thin breast cuts I've been straight deep frying in a combination of Safflower and Canola oil. Peanut is just so damn expensive...though they do sell 35 pounds at Costco for 29 bucks.

I'm happy to report that the brine is done. The combination of Coca-Cola and a light pickling spice is perfect. It led to some incredibly moist and flavorful results.

Today I tested egg dredge methods for the crust. Each piece of chicken starts with a coat of seasoned flour, then a dip in egg, then another dip in either...

More seasoned flour:

Probably the most traditional result so far, and nice crisp crust. One of the finalists for sure.

Seasoned cornmeal:

The crispiest crust and the most "staying power" in terms of crispness, but also a bit dry and gritty. At this point, pure cornmeal has been abandoned. In the future buttermilk testing, I'll test out how it is to mix a bit of cornmeal into the flour.


I wasn't really thinking about doing this, but the flour-egg dredge method is how I start out frying things Katsu style too. Although it started out as a dark horse, this is definitely gonna be one of the finalists. I'll have to adjust the initial flour dredge to have more seasoning, but the panko crust is incredibly crisp and light. It also fries faster so there's not as much danger of the chicken drying out.

In any case, I've got a bunch of fried chicken in my fridge. In defense of Southern Fried Chicken, one of its best qualities...which doesn't work with sauced that it's just as good at room temperature (or cold) as it is when piping hot.

It just comes down to my buttermilk frying results (that'll be next week...I'm off to Chicago tomorrow) and another crack at sweet potato biscuits, then I'll need to enlist the help of some judges for focus group testing.

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