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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fried Chicken in honor of BBQ Grail

A fellow BBQ enthusiast and friend of mine recently had the opportunity to travel to Memphis for the Memphis in May BBQ Event. While there he had the opportunity to participate and cook at one of the most prestigious events in the BBQ world. He also got to eat at several famous Tennessee eateries, one of which was Gus's Family Restaurant, famous for it's fried chicken.  Upon his return I received some taunting, great photos and a report of the best fried chicken ever.  And a recipe reputed to be based upon Gus's from another source of his.

Well, this had to be tried.  It involves a soak in buttermilk, coating in highly seasoned flour and your standard frying in a cast iron skillet. Here are a few photos.

The chicken, washed and now drying. 
Next the chicken soaked in a buttermilk wash for 2-1/2 hours.  The chicken was removed and placed onto the rack to allow it to set up for about 10 minutes.  This is to primarily allow some of the buttermilk to drain.
The chicken is then dredged in a flour mixture as follows:
3 cups flour
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Once the chicken is dredged, I like to let it sit for a few minutes to cure the coating.  I believe this is key to having the coating stick to the chicken.  It makes for a less built up coating as well. Here it is curing for about 15 minutes.
The chicken is then fried in about 1/4 inch of peanut oil or other suitable oil for shallow frying.  In this case I cut the peanut oil by half using canola oil.  I have found this is just as good, does not burn and still gives a good finished product. Peanut oil is pretty costly stuff.
The finished product, plated up for serving.  As you can see the coating is not a heavy thick coating, it is thin and tight to the skin of the chicken, very much what I look for in a shallow fried, traditional fried chicken.  And the flavor was exceptional.

5 comments:

  1. That looks awesome!! Fried chicken is on my death row menu for sure.
    -Mike

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  2. If they ever catch up with you, I will bring the chicken and some beer as well.

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  3. I can almost hear the crunch biting through that great looking crust! Gorgeous chicken, Bob.

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  4. That's some great looking yardbird there. I bought some buttermilk today just because of you.
    From you, I learned it from you!
    *sobs
    Odin

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  5. Feel free to blame me for everything Odin

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