It is about 1,000 degrees here, but it turns out that fried food and spicy barbeque sauce tastes good even if you are already sweating. Ok, so it isn’t quite that bad, but we couldn’t help complaining to a semi-captive audience.
As for spicy food and spicy BBQ sauce, first, we should pay homage to the sauce of our dreams, Winger’s Original Amazing Sauce. Our meal didn’t actually need it, but we like excuses to pour puddles of it on our plates. When Zach’s roommates moved out we found a cabinet with 5 of these bottles and since moving in together, we have demolished them. Luckily we found this website and since it is a flat rate to ship 8 or fewer, we did just that. We plan on gifting some of them, yes, it’s that good, but we’ll have no problems putting away the rest.
Back to our meal — we had a fair amount of leftover buttermilk after our adventure making homemade ricotta and no idea what to do with it. We came across this recipe for fried chicken by Grace Parisi, whose recipes we consistently love, and although we had never made fried chicken before, we figured it was the perfect time to learn.
We messed with the ingredients a little bit, as you may see, because Zach isn’t a huge dark meat fan and he certainly didn’t need the 4lbs of fried chicken that the recipe called for all to himself. We realize this recipe choice may seem to contradict the aforementioned diet, but again, he’s taking one for the getting-rid-of-leftover-buttermilk team.
The changes: we changed the proportions in the flour dredge to add an extra kick and we could have added even more. We also cut the cooking time pretty drastically, leaving us with what we thought was both moist and thoroughly cooked chicken.
Our Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe
(Proportioned down, but otherwise almost entirely stolen from Grace Parisi)
1 ½ lbs chicken breast, sliced into strips 1-2 in. thick
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne
Vegetable oil for frying
Start by making the buttermilk soak. Combine all of the ingredients (buttermilk, salt, pepper, cayenne) in a large bowl. Slice the chicken breast and add it to soak. Stir to coat the chicken and refrigerate covered for 4 hours.
Next, make the flour dredge. Combine all of the ingredients (flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne) in a large Ziploc bag. Shake to mix.
Grace Parisi recommends that you set up a rack on a baking sheet, presumably so that once the chicken has been dipped it can rest without losing any of its batter and texture. Unfortunately, we are without a number of crucial cooking tools (hint hint, mom and dad) a rack being one of them. That said, we laid them out on a plate and it was just fine.
After four hours remove the chicken from the soak. Allow the extra drippings to drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken by placing it in the plastic bag with the flour dredge. Make sure the flour mixture gets good and pressed in. Remove from the bag and place on the rack that’s over the baking sheet. Let chicken stand like this for thirty minutes.
Heat oil in a deep skillet. Again, Parisi recommends heating 1” of oil to 350 degrees, but we are also lacking a thermometer and we used less oil. We heated the oil until it shimmered and added the chicken gently. We left it in the oil for 3-4 minutes on each side and it came out crispy and browned on the outside and super moist on the inside.
Try it without BBQ sauce. It doesn’t need it. But then feel free to sauce it up. We do.