I do like fried chicken. If you travel to New York you should try DIRTY BIRD on 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. They have some of the best chicken in these parts. But now I have finally made some at home to rival it.
I have never made fried chicken that was perfect at home. Set the oil at two low a temperature and it absorbs too much of the fry oil. Set it high enough to get the perfect crunch and you risk under-cooking the meat which is not a good result. I’ve tried putting the chicken in the oven after to keep it warm and finish cooking but it never seemed to work right. I had given up.
Then I remembered my Joule sous vide machine. To keep results consistent I decided to try only chicken legs (plus I wanted to see if this method fixed the problem I have always had with that cut – those chewy strands of some animal anatomy that I have had with nearly every chicken leg I ever tried).
I set the sous vide to 154 degrees for three hours which prepared the meat perfectly (and got rid of those chewy parts). Immediately after I rolled the legs in buttermilk and coated it with a flour mixture. Still playing with spices – salt, pepper, onion powder, cayenne and paprika. I was more interested in texture than spices, that isn’t what makes the perfect fried chicken, despite what the Colonel thinks.
Frying them immersed quickly in 400 degree oil the results were perfect. I mean delicious perfect, best I have ever tried. Now to play with the spice mixture…
As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes
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