I’ve been inspired by Southern food lately. Perhaps it’s because the South reminds me of sunny days and warm weather… something that Chicago isn’t getting enough of lately. On the top of my Southern food list is fried chicken. It’s a staple to the cuisine where it seems as though everyone has their own special secret recipe on how it’s done. This time around I was intrigued when I came across a recipe for Batter Fried Chicken. This may not be the most healthy meal but it sure hit the spot. Succulent chicken is dipped in a seasoned batter and fried to a golden brown. It’s so good, I’m still craving it nearly a week or so later!
This is probably one of the better fried chicken recipes I’ve made. I’m not sure if it’s due to the brining, which makes the chicken incredibly tender. Or it could be due to the flavorful batter of flour, cornstarch and a blend of seasonings. Whatever it is, it’s finger licking good. I promise you there won’t be a piece of fried chicken leftover either. (My apologies to those who love cold, leftover fried chicken the next day.)
Batter Fried Chicken
recipe slightly adapted from My Year of Cooking with Chris Kimball
1 quart cold water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 pounds chicken, cut up (bone in, skin on)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
5 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cold water
oil for frying
MAKE BRINE Whisk water, salt, and sugar in large bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
MAKE BATTER Whisk flour, cornstarch, pepper, paprika, cayenne, baking powder, salt, and water in large bowl until smooth. Refrigerate batter while chicken is brining.
FRY CHICKEN Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Remove chicken from refrigerator, pour off brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Rewhisk batter. Transfer half of chicken to batter. One piece at a time, remove chicken from batter (allowing excess to drip back into bowl) and transfer to oil. Fry chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees, until deep golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (175 degrees for dark meat), 12 to 15 minutes. Drain chicken on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Serve.