Tyler Florence’s Fried ChickenMay 7th, 2012 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Brining, Down Home, Featured, Flour, Frying, Herbs, How To, Main, Poultry, Recipes, Salt, Southern
I read just last week that fried chicken is “trending”…did it ever go away? I think what is really happening is a movement to fry more at home rather than rely on restaurants and fast food eateries to handle what some consider “heavy lifting” in terms of cooking. Frying food is intimidating, it’s messy and if you don’t know what you’re doing it may result in terrible food.
Fried chicken at home is one of the easiest and most satisfying dishes and my last venture occurred late December when I shared Art Smith’s (of Oprah fame) fried chicken recipe. At the time of posting that recipe it was the best fried chicken recipe I had ever tried at home – until this one. The new “go-to recipe” for fried chicken is Tyler Florence’s.
It seems that many blogs with a bent towards SEO optimization have relied on “catch words” to drive traffic to their recipes with “best ever” or “greatest” recipe proclamations. This fried chicken recipe comes from Tyler’s Ultimate TV series and like most of the dishes he presented – they were slightly over the top, comforting dishes that definitely were worthy of “ultimate” status.
I present to you Tyler’s fried chicken recipe, similar to Art Smith’s but different and in my opinion, better: both recipes brine the chicken pieces, both use a similar seasoning for the flour, both use buttermilk and both fry the chicken in shallow oil for about 7 minutes a side. Paula (Dragon’s Kitchen) and I once again fried chicken together and we agreed that: where the two recipes differ is subtle yet very important with the two resulting fried chicken: Art Smith also has the chicken soaking in buttermilk then the chicken is dredged in seasoned flour followed by another dredging of flour before hitting the hot oil for frying.
The result garners crisp, flavourful fried chicken but it’s a little thick for my tastes. Now take the Tyler Florence recipe: after he brines the chicken they get dredged in seasoned flour, dunked in butter milk once and then there’s a second dredging of seasoned flour – less buttermilk and less flour clinging to the chicken. The coating on the chicken leaves a thinner crust without sacrificing crunch, flavour or juicyness.
The fried chicken still gets fried for 7 minutes/side, the coating holds up well to the time in the hot oil and you’ll get a lovely golden, crispy skin. Manna from the southern US! Where Tyler’s recipe is a little off is in placing the fresh herbs in the oil while frying the chicken. The result was blackened herbs that did little to flavour the oil and definitely not for use as a garnish. I recommend frying bunches of herbs after the chicken and placing on top as crisp garnish.
If you want to add your own touch to the dish, choose your favourite herbs & spices in the flour mix: could be lemon-pepper, oregano, sage, Old Bay, paprika or Szechuan peppercorns, pinch of curry blend or cumin. Your choice of hot sauces abound but my fave is Sriracha. This Ultimate Fried Chicken was accompanied by some corn bread from another Food Network star, Ina Garten. It is my favourite cornbread recipe with its balance of sweet and savory.
Ultimate Fried Chicken by Tyler Florence
1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1/4 cup salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
approx. 2 cups buttermilk
2-3 Tbsp. Sriracha (or your favourite hot sauce)
oil for frying
handful of fresh thyme, fresh sage and rosemary
- Place your chicken pieces in a bowl and enough enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Remove chicken pieces and add salt and stir until dissolved. Now add back the chicken, coveer and place in your fridge overnight.
- The next day, drain your chicken and pat-dry. In a large bowl add the flour and seasonings and stir with a fork. In another bowl add the buttermilk and Sriracha and stir until blended.
- Dredge your chicken in the flour then dip in the buttermilk and dip once again in the flour then reserve while you heat your oil. Add about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet or cast iron pan and bring up to a temperature of 350F.
- Gently place about 3-4 pieces of chicken into the hot oil and fry for about 7 minutes per side then reserve on a cooling rack (important to do this so that the coating doesn’t soften). Fry the remaining pieces of chicken in batches and finally fry-off your fresh herbs until just crisp and serve alongside/on top of your fried chicken with some lemon wedges.
- Ina Garten’s cornbread is a perfect accompaniment to this southern fried delight.
Next up: may try Thomas Keller’s fried chicken recipe from his Ad Hoc book.
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© 2012, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.