Celebrate National Fried Chicken Day with fried chicken five ways
It's National Fried Chicken Day y'all. Why not celebrate the ultimate comfort food, tailgate snack and guilty pleasure of finger lick'n fans everywhere? There's a reason why fried chicken is typically served by the bucket full. It's simply too hard to ever get enough of that crispy, salty skin and juicy moist chicken. After all, it really is the best way to cook a bird.
To celebrate, you can definitely get your chicken fix at a restaurant, but why not make the good stuff at home? Think of it as a way to eat as much as you want, as messily as you want in the comfort of your own home. I've been known to cause quite a mess of my own with what I like to call my "special technique." Take all the meat and skin off a piece of fried chicken, with your hands of course, then pile it sky high on a waffle or a biscuit. Top it off with a healthy dose of syrup and hot sauce then wrap it up like a burrito and voila. Some serious finger lick'n is sure to ensue.
If you're up for the challenge, here are five ways to make fried chicken from the Los Angeles Times test kitchen. And as a bonus, here's the recipe for The Tasting Kitchen executive chef Casey Lane's sweet and savory bacon waffles with fried "clucks" after the jump. Enjoy, and don't forget the napkins!
Fried chicken batter
5 1/2 cups butter milk
1 whole chicken cut into 8 frying piece
1 pound pastry flour (will cook up crispier and lighter due to the lower gluten content)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Season chicken to taste with salt and fine ground black pepper. Whisk 2 eggs very well in a large bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk at a medium pace, not too vigorously as you do not want to whip the milk. Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Heat frying oil to 325 degrees F. (A frying thermometer is a useful tool to have).
Place a piece of chicken inside the flour mixture and coat well, be careful to toss it gently. Next dip chicken in the milk and egg mixture. Let sit for 10 seconds to allow flour to absorb batter.
Take chicken out of the batter and gently lay in the flour mixture again. Toss the chicken gently, but liberally coat with flour mix. Handle the chicken as gently as possible, without dusting off too much of the flour place chicken in the frying oil. Cooking usually takes about 8-10 min. for the leg and thigh pieces, a bit less for the breast and wing.
Sweet and savory bacon waffle recipe * note this recipe has not been tested by the Los Angeles Times test kitchen
20 ounces all-purpose (AP) flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
6 egg yolks
3 cups milk (room temp)
8 ounces melted butter
6 egg whites
2 ounces sugar
For bacon option: 4 slices of precooked bacon to your liking, be it crispy or slightly chewy. Thin sliced is preferable for this recipe.
Warm up waffle iron. Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk together egg yolks, milk, and melted butter. Fold together wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to stir too much to avoid gluten development. Beat egg whites and sugar to create a meringue with soft peaks. Fold meringue into batter. Add half of the waffle batter to the hot iron. Layer in bacon. Ladle other half of batter into iron to cover bacon.
-- Jenn Harris
Photo: Buttermilk soaked, pan fried chicken. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.