Friday, February 12, 2010

Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Drizzled Honey and Lemon


Sorry for my lack of posts in the past couple days folks, but I've been really busy! Every year around this time, for some reason, times starts to fly by. It seems like yesterday I was wondering around Soho and waiting for new years to make its way and now, it's February already and I have an never-ending list of To-Do's - which is always a good excuse to get over-priced notepads to jot down things down and hang them on the fridge (where else would I never forget to look?), although, that's quite besides the point! Being uber busy isn't a bad thing really, especially since I've always been the type to be most productive the more there is to be done.. it's a sort of adrenaline thing, really.

All to say, that I have been cooking, and haven't forgotten you, just trying to manage my time! This buttermilk chicken was a weekend treat, well worth the time it took to brine the chicken. Thank you Thomas Keller! The chicken was moist and flaky and the fried coating perfectly seasoned and crisp. I'm definitely no expert on fried chicken (not exactly a Parisian's girl Saturday night ritual!) but it was delicious. We served it with a fresh spinach salad with roasted almonds, and drizzled honey and lemon over the fried deliciousness. It was quite the treat!

Let me say a few words about Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. First off it's really, really a beautiful book. It's one of those coffee table books you can pick up at any time of the day and read just to learn more about the cooking process. The text is beautifully written and will echo in the minds of everyone who has a true passion about cooking. The explanations are clear and honest and meant to make us all better cooks, at home. A lot of what Keller writes is a shortened version of what I learned at culinary school, which makes me smile because it reminds me of the first time I stepped into a professional kitchen, and how utterly clueless, excited and nervous I was. The recipes are really written for the home cook to improve, learn from his/her mistakes and have fun in the kitchen. My only problem is that the book is quite hefty and not that easy to have next to you in the kitchen especially if you like keeping books out of the kitchen war zone!


Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Drizzled Honey and Lemon

Adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc
Makes 24 Pieces

Brine:
24 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
18 bay leaves
30 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons of whole black peppercorns
5 large fresh rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 bunches fresh thyme sprigs
5 lemons, halfed
3 3 1/2 pound chickens

Frying:
6 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons garlic powder
5 tablespoons onion powder
4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional for serving
6 cups buttermilk
12 cups peanut oil (for deep-frying)
Fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs (for garnish), deep-fried 30 seconds

Brine: Bring all brine ingredients to a boil in large pot (except the chicken). Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve salt. Cool completely. Chill the brine until cold, about 2 hours.

Rinse chicken; add to brine, pressing to submerge. Chill at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain chicken and pat dry, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin. Cut each chicken into 8 pieces and lay on parchment-lined baking sheet for about 2 hours or until completely dry. Make sure the chicken is completely dry before frying or the water will spatter in the oil and it can be very dangerous!

Frying: Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix first 6 ingredients and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in large bowl. Place buttermilk in another large bowl. Dip each chicken piece in flour mixture to coat; shake off excess. Dip pieces in buttermilk, coating completely, then dip into flour mixture again, coating thickly (do not shake off excess). Place chicken on prepared sheets.

Pour peanut oil into heavy large pot. Attach deep-free thermometer to side of pot and heat oil over medium-high heat to 320 degrees Fahrenheit and 330 degrees Fahrenheit. Working in batches of 4 pieces at a time, add leg and thigh pieces to oil (use splatter screen to protect yourself from hot oil). Adjust heat as needed to maintain temperature. Fry until cooked through and skin is deep golden brown, turning once using wooden spoons, about 10-13 minutes. Using wooden spoons, transfer chicken to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with course salt.

Add breast pieces to oil and fry until cooked through and skin is deep golden brown, turning once, about 7 minutes. Transfer chicken to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with course salt.

Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Serve with a good drizzle of honey, a squeeze of lemon and fried rosemary. Enjoy!

29 comments:

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Good Lord this looks to die for. I guess I'll have to break down and try making real fried chicken... And glad to hear you like Ad Hoc - it's been on my amazon list for a while:)

Shauna from Piece of Cake said...

Oh, well, sweet baby Jesus. That! Chicken! Would gladly mow down a few pieces with my coffee right this second. Lovely photos.

Funny you mentioned the heft of Ad Hoc--I was wondering that very thing while checking it out at the bookstore the other day!

HoneyB said...

I'm craving me some fried chicken lately...along with some buttermilk biscuits & gravy! Your chicken looks delish!

kimberleyblue said...

I can't wait until I own that cookbook!

Until that day, I'll just drool over this chicken. It sounds perfect, and your photo is just stunning.

Justin said...

hmm, frying chicken kind of makes me nervous. if i was going to try it at home, i think i'd follow your lead and go with the ad hoc recipe.

MaryMoh said...

Wow...looks finger-licking good. I love it.

dawn said...

ha ha over-priced notepads! so guilty of that one.
I adore my fried chicken with lots of honey and salt. never tried the lemon though, but I am game!

Kate Morgan Jackson said...

I don't know what I am drooling over more -- the recipe or your gorgeous picture. Mouthwatering!!

pigpigscorner said...

Reminds me of KFC chicken! Looks so good!

Memória said...

Oh, I know this is good chicken because you brined the meat. I don't eat fried chicken very often, but whenever I do, I will use this recipe. Thanks for posting!

lostpastremembered said...

A friend of mine just got the book and made the chicken and was drooling on the phone telling me about it... honey drizzle too??? OMG! I have to get this book.

Anna said...

I too am an expensive notebook buyer. And then I buy some more because they seem so sullied with a few pages written in....so I have lots of expensive notebooks with a couple of used pages, lying around. Sigh.

Ha--if I made this chicken my husband would love me forever! (Hopefully he will anyway, but this would seal the deal.)

Sunday said...

Just the kind of thing my family would enjoy, thanks for posting this, and I love the photo :)

Trissa said...

I do love the Ad hoc book - like all his books - just a treasure trove of knowledge! Your buttermilk fried chicken does the book justice! :)

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Absolutely delicious chicken....

Que Magnifigue este...bravo!!!!

Oh yeah...LOVE IS IN THE AIR,SO IS ROMANCE...WISH YA LOADS OF IT @ 365....

Sari said...

I don't remember if I ever made fried chicken at home but this looks worth trying! ;)

Sook said...

Love the presentation! Looks so yummy!

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

I cannot remember the last time I had fried chicken, but oh this looks so wonderful. I bet it is perfectly crispy and well worth the fry! Great photo!

ABowlOfMush said...

I'm drooling looking at this picture!! Oh I need to eat this right now!! :)

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a gorgeous photo of the chicken. I can only imagine how terrific this fried chicken Thomas Keller style would be.
Sam

Cynthia said...

Ahhhh, fried chicken. Sigh with longing.

Deborah said...

I have heard great things about this recipe. And now I'm craving fried chicken!

lisaiscooking said...

Your chicken looks incredible! I can't wait to get cooking from Ad Hoc!

Rosy said...

So amazing!!!! I love the picture...

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

mmm, that fried chicken looks fantastic! i love how you photographed it! well done :)

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing.
Hope to see you soon...
Garrett

Megan said...

Ooh... the chicken came out great! I can't wait to try some of the recipes from this book. I think I'm making cupcakes first!

Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet said...

Love the packaging used in the photo. The chicken looks divine!

narrow kitchen table said...

This is something that I would love to cook everyday! It really looks so delicious!

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