Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finger Lickin' Cornmeal Fried Chicken

crispy, crunchy and salty, Sunday Fried Chicken

Have you ever made fried chicken before? Well neither had I until yesterday when I awoke at 7:00 a.m. in the morning and did not leave the kitchen until 2:00 in the afternoon. What a well deserved undertaking, frying up chicken in the kitchen on a Sunday at noon. Hot and sweaty and OMG .... this stuff was what fried dreams were made of.  

After my husband took his first bite he said....."mmmmm this is the best chicken coating that I have ever tasted that didn't have MSG in it." I of course smiled and took it as a compliment, right? 

For one of my sister's wedding presents, I scooped up several 2008 old Bon Appetit issues from our local library sale. (What good cook does not love pouring over cooking magazines?) I made sure I grabbed her the September 2008 issue, the restaurant issue, as it is stuffed full of jaw dropping recipes.  I have had this issue myself for 2 years and always salivated over the fried chicken recipe but have forever been to chicken to make it (no pun intended). My sister showed no fear and whipped this recipe up 2 days prior. Okay, if she can do it, I could. I think my fear of hot oil meets raw meat was what kept me away.

adapted from Thomas Keller's Buttermilk Fried Chicken September 2008 Bon Appetit - He uses only wheat flour... I added the cornmeal and rice flour... I also cut the recipe down quite a bit, as his is for 24 pieces of chicken.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken - makes 8 pieces

Part I - The Brining

6 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 Heaping TBS honey
4 bay leaves
6 cloves smashed garlic
3 tsp black peppercorns
3 bunches of fresh thyme
1/2 cup Italian parsley
1 TBS grated lemon peel
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
8 pieces of chicken

Combine all the brine ingredients in sauce pan (minus chicken) and bring to a boil. Let cool or chill in the fridge. Rinse chicken and add to brine. Put back in fridge and let brine for at least 6 hours up to 24. Drain chicken, remove remaining herbs and pat dry.

Part II -Making your buttermilk coating

1 cup coarse corn meal
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup wheat or spelt flour
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
couple twists of freshly ground pepper
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 bottle peanut oil for deep frying
Thermometer for Deep Frying
Meat Thermometer

Whisk together dry ingredients in a med sized bowl. Pour buttermilk in another bowl. Line up your work space with the chicken on the left then moving to the right you want the dry mix, buttermilk and baking tray, in that order. (makes for less mess). Take your first piece of chicken, place in dry mix, then dip in buttermilk, then back to the dry mix for a second coating. Place on baking sheet. Coat all chicken in this manner and let stand to dry. It is okay to be left out.... you are going to fry the heck out of anything potentially dangerous.

Part III - Hot oil meets the Bird

I used my Le Creuset dutch oven to complete the frying portion of this recipe. It did a fine job holding the temperature and protecting me from splashing hot oil. Use some type of a large heavy pot for the frying. Pour peanut oil to a depth of 1" into your pan. Place thermometer on side of pan to watch your oil temperature. Heat oil up to 325 degrees, then you are ready to add your chicken. Do not crowd your pan, 3-4 pieces at a time if you are using something similar in size to my panSet your timer for 7 minutes, turn chicken at 7 minutes. Test for doneness at 14 minutes, pull meat out of fryer and then insert meat thermometer. When cooked, transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with more kosher salt. Fry up second batch, let drain and then platter up your chicken.

Serve with coleslaw, mashed potatoes and other good things that you desire. Do not be surprised. You will probably just want to eat the coating...... All of it!

My sister Molly just began her bloggind adventures last night..... check out her first post.... Creamy Butterscotch Pudding with Bacon Lardons....Yeah Molly! Prefers Pig

Fried Foodie Love from Wisconsin ♥♥♥
Miss Megan


  1. I love fried chicken! This looks delicious

  2. Mmm, your chicken looks amazing. It sounds like it was worth all the effort :)

  3. You got me with the word cornmeal! It looks delicious and I've never thought of using the cornmeal with chicken. Way to go!

  4. It is interesting that fried chicken seems to common, but I don't know many people who have made it.

    Looks awesome!!


  5. That's a good reason to be in the kitchen!

  6. Megan, your fried chicken looks extremely tempting! Wish I can have a bite. yummm..... It's a great idea to soak those drumsticks into that brine. That's how the Indonesians cook thier fried chicken(ayam penyet) as well. Enjoy your day.
    Cheers, kristy

  7. You know - I never have made fried chicken. This looks so luscious. Love the brining first. Do you do mail order?

  8. Oh my, I am totally coming over. Of course it's Thomas Keller, what a genius, and I imagine the brining makes all the difference. I can't wait to make this!

  9. I can taste that fried chicken now! When I was growing up, my dad made homemade fried chicken every Sunday. He'd put it in salt water to soak while we were at church, and then fry it up after we got home. I, on the other hand, have probably only made fried chicken a dozen times or so and it never tastes as good as what my dad made. I may have to give this recipe a try. Thanks!

  10. I've never made fried chicken before! Yours look delicious!

  11. I LOVE Fried chicken. This looks like a simple and delish recipe!

    xo M

  12. kisses and hugs to all of you wonderful foodies! thanks for the comments - I am turning over a new frying leaf since I am not a deep-fry virgin any longer! I am off to eat our Colombian Steak and Aji Salsas! Cheers to a great evening full of your favorite foods! xoxo Megan

  13. Wow, that a great looking fried chicken. My kind of dish. Look forward to getting to know you and your food.

    Be well.

  14. Marinating chicken in buttermilk creates such moist chicken. I love it. Nigella lawson does a great Ritzy Chicken Nuggets recipe with buttermilk. I'd love a big bucket of this chicken you've made - right now! Yum!!!

  15. Wow that is some fried chicken! Love that buttermilk coating. The brine must take it right over the top.

  16. I make buttermilk fried chicken maybe twice a year! I actually made it 2 weeks ago. I love the taste. I, too, use cornmeal along with the flour. And I "marinate" the chicken in buttermilk and seasonings overnight for an amazing juicy flavor! Your techniques such as using a wirerack is the same as mine, too! Mmmm reading this post is making me hungry!!


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