Bourbon Brined Fried Chicken

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Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

For the Brine:
One 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 cups steaming hot water
2 cups ice water
2/3 cup bourbon

For Frying:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoons cayenne, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Dash of hot sauce
9 cups peanut oil, for frying

Special Equipment:

6 1/2- quart  Round Deep Dutch Oven

 

Directions:

Break chicken down into 10 pieces by removing thighs, drumsticks, whole wings, and bone-in breasts; cut each of the two breasts in half

To a large saucepan, add water, salt, honey, brown sugar ,cinnamon stick and bay leaves and stir until the salt dissolves. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the ice water and bourbon and allow to cool completely. Put chicken pieces into a resealable  gallon freezer bag and pour the brine over the chicken. Seal the bag, set in a large bowl, and chill at least 4 hours, but preferably overnigh, for best results.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cornstarch, salt and spices. Set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce, then set aside. Remove chicken pieces from the brine and pat dry. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip in buttermilk mixture and allow excess to drip off. Finally, dredge completely in the flour again, and set on a rack over a sheet pan. Repeat with remaining pieces and let stand to allow a crust to form over the chicken while the oil heats.

Preheat oven to 250º F.

Add oil to a 6 1/2-quart deep Dutch oven and heat to a temperature of 350º F.

Carefully add 5 pieces of chicken to the oil and hold temperature around 320 ºF while frying, gently turning chicken once. Fry for 12 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 º F in the thickest piece. Remove chicken to a rack set over a sheet tray, and hold in the oven while the next batch cooks. To prevent the chicken from buring on the outside  before it cooks through, remove it from the oil and place it  on a baking sheet and place it in the oven where it can finish cooking; check temperature before serving. Repeat frying process with remaining pieces, and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

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Snoop Dogg’s Potato Chip Fried Chicken

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The batter for this crispy, golden fried chicken wings from rapper and culinary star (have you seen the tv cooking show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” ?), Snoop Dogg, has a secret ingredient: potato chips. Use any type of  potato chips you like—sour cream and onion, jalapeño, or salt and vinegar would all work well.  Snoop was partial to using BBQ chips in the show with Martha. To really get that BBQ chip flavor in the final result, though, don’t be afraid to add a bit more chips to the coating than the recipe calls for. The recipe also called for the use of cornmeal in the batter. Personally, I would leave out the cornmeal because it makes the batter to grainy. A few other adjustments were made as well, like using a cut up whole fryer chicken instead of wings. I also used plain potato chips. To be perfectly honest. I prefer my Grand’s recipe for fried chicken, where she would brine the bird in buttermilk over night in the refrigerator, making for a juicer and more tender chicken.

I would give this recipe a B- overall. The corn meal, as I mentioned before, really doesn’t work in this recipe. The chicken was tasty, by the coating doesn’t adhere very will to the chicken, even after air drying 30 minutes prior to frying.

The recipe below is featured in: “Snoop Dogg’s Fried Chicken Is Game-Changing & You Should Make it Right Now.” From the book, From Crook to Cook by Snoop Dogg, Chronicle Books, 2018.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
For the brine:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Peel of 1 orange

For the chicken:
4 pounds chicken wings
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup crushed potato chips
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
2 cups buttermilk
1 quart canola oil

Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions:
For the brine:
Fill a large pot with 5 cups of water. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the sugar, salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and orange peel. Cook, stirring, until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Place the chicken in a large bowl and cover completely with the cooled brine. Cover and refrigerate for 10 to 12 hours, and up to 24 hours.
3. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Set the chicken aside and discard the brine.

For the chicken:
To batter the chicken: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, crushed potato chips, garlic powder, cayenne, baking powder, black pepper, and salt until combined. Transfer to a large shallow dish. Place another large shallow dish next to the flour mixture and add the buttermilk to it. Place a wire rack or pan next to the two dishes; this will be where you set your battered chicken.

Take one wing and submerge it in the buttermilk. Lift and let any excess drip back into the dish. Roll the wing in the flour mixture, coating it completely. Place the battered chicken wing on the wire rack or pan and repeat with the remaining wings.

Let the wings dry for 20 to 30 minutes before frying.

To fry the chicken: In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the canola oil to 350°F. Place a wire rack over a plate or line a pan with brown paper and set aside.

Working in batches, carefully add the chicken wings to the hot oil, careful not to crowd, otherwise they’ll become greasy. Once the chicken is added, the oil’s temperature will drop to between 300°F to 320°F. Watch and adjust the heat to maintain a consistent 350°F temperature.

Fry the wings for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden. If the chicken is getting too dark, lower the heat. Once the chicken is done, remove each piece with tongs and transfer to the prepared rack or pan to drain. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Let the oil come back to temperature before adding the next batch; repeat with the remaining chicken.

Serve the wings with plenty of hot sauce (if using) or over buttermilk waffles, hot or cold, however you like them.

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Ranch Fried Chicken

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Classic American ranch dressing herbs and seasonings appear in three components of the recipe—the buttermilk marinade, the flour coating, and the ranch dipping sauce—to pack summer flavors into this fried chicken. You can used  boneless thighs to ensure a juicy meat without the time consuming brining process with just taking 10 -15 minutes. Frying the thin thighs takes half the time that bone-in chicken parts require, which allows the fresh herb flavors toshine through. But I prefer brining bone-in, skin on chicken over night in the refrigerator.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH………

Talk about an unlikely origin story. The last thing that anyone expected Kenneth Henson of Thayer, Nebraska, to do during his three-year stint as a plumbing contractor in Alaska just after World War II was to develop a salad dressing recipe that would become one of America’s most popular condiments.

A plumbing contractor? In Alaska? You heard it right. Henson, 29 years old when he decamped for the then-U.S. territory, was a good cook, charged with preparing meals for his work-camp colleagues. A relentless kitchen tinkerer, he developed a buttermilk-based salad dressing that his crew loved.

In the early 1950s, Henson, who eventually changed his first name to Steve, relocated to the hills outside Santa Barbara, where he and his wife bought a 120-acre parcel and opened up a dude ranch, which they called “Hidden Valley.” Henson’s salad dressing was a fan favorite at meal time; eventually the Hensons began sending guests home with souvenir “ranch” seasoning packets.

Henson sold the “Hidden Valley Ranch” brand to Clorox for $8 million in 1972 and closed the ranch shortly thereafter. A shelfstable version of the dressing was created in 1983; today, ranch is the most popular salad dressing flavor in the United States.

Serves 4 to  6

Ingredients:
For the Chicken:
One  1-ounce packet Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
3 cups whole buttermilk, divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
One 3-pound chicken cut into 8 pieces, rinsed, patted dry*

For the Coating:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Ranch Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt , to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish

Special Equipment:
Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more for this recipe.
Thermometer

Directions:
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine dressing mix and 2 cups buttermilk. Seal bag, and shake until blended. Spoon 1⁄2 cup dressing into a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Add chicken to bag; seal and refrigerate for 8 hours. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Lightly pat chicken dry with paper towels  and season with pepper.

For the Buttermilk Marinade: Whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup buttermilk mixture for ranch sauce.

For the Coating: Whisk all ingredients together in large bowl.

Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Set second wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet and line half of rack with triple layer of paper towels.

Working with 1 piece at a time, dip chicken in remaining buttermilk mixture to coat, letting excess drip back into bowl; then dredge in coating, pressing to adhere.Dip in buttermilk and dredge in flour mixture again, pressing gently to adhere coating. Transfer chicken to first wire rack without paper towels. At this point, flour coated chicken may be refrigerated, uncovered, for up to 2 hours.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Working batches, add the chicken to the hot oil and fry until golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°F, about 12 minutes, turning occasionally.  Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 °F.

Transfer chicken to paper towel–lined side of second wire rack to drain on each side for 30 seconds, then move to unlined side of rack. Return oil to 350 °F and repeat with remaining chicken.

For the Ranch Sauce: Whisk mayonnaise into reserved buttermilk mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer chicken to platter. Garnish with chopped chives and serve with ranch sauce.

Cook’s Notes:
You can use 8 chicken thighs or 8 drumsticks or a combination of thigh and drumsticks in the place of a whole cut up chicken.

KEY INGREDIENTS: THREE HERBS, THREE WAYS: Fresh herbs were used to further enhance the ranch flavor—chives, cilantro, and dill—in were used in three ways for this chicken: in the buttermilk dip, in the flour coating, and in the serving sauce.

 

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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