Today calls for al fresco dining, chips with homemade fresh salsa, fried chicken, and biscuits with honey. What’s the occasion, you ask? My brother brews a damn fine beer, and my family created a meal around his latest batch — a 7-grain Ale; Complex in flavor, yet light and refreshing.
The fried chicken took a nice long bath in buttermilk seasoned with cayenne before being dredged in the flavorful flour mixture, making it nice and tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside with just a little kick! Makes about 6 servings. Leftovers make an ideal picnic food!
Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
(From the July 2010 issue of Food & Wine)
For the Buttermilk Soak:
3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 pounds medium chicken wings, thighs and drumsticks
For the Flour Dredge:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate for 4 hours.
- In a large, resealable plastic bag, mix the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne and shake to combine.
- Set a rack on a baking sheet. Working with one piece at a time, remove the chicken from the buttermilk soak, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. Transfer the coated chicken to the rack and let stand for 30 minutes.
- In a deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°. Set another rack over a baking sheet; line with paper towels. Fry the chicken in batches at 315°, turning once, until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the paper-lined rack and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Even though it’s September, you can still find beautiful dry-farmed tomatoes. They’re so sweet and make the best homemade salsa. But pace yourself with the chips, because you have to save room for chicken!
Lovely end-of-summer berries add a pleasing color (and taste!) to the table.
Did you know that fried chicken pairs well with a sparkling wine like Prosecco? Try it!
Fried chicken, biscuits, potato salad (with hardboiled eggs and capers), and green salad with crumbled feta.
Biscuits with spelt & cornmeal, just waiting for butter and honey!