February 23, 2007

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken, now with Cast Iron
recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.

Notes: I got a cast iron chicken fryer for my birthday. It's really heavy. And it makes really great fried chicken, though I need to try one of those fattening piles of chicken parts that still has all the skin and bones since I actually made this with boneless chicken breast and cooked it 20 minutes. It was great, but I think the other way might be better. I've never fried in shortening before. Yum. And it was really keen to use the cast iron. I must find more recipes for it.

Posted by Jennifer at February 23, 2007 7:28 PM | TrackBack

Hurray for cast iron chicken fryers! The texture of the coating was great, the chicken was wonderfully juicy, and the flavors in Alton's recipe were quite tasty.

Posted by: Michael at March 12, 2007 9:21 PM
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