OK...no secret am a fan of FoodNetwork and Ina Garten aka Barefoot Contessa. In recent weeks to replace the Paula and Friends there's Barefoot and Friends. A great combo, not that Barefoot needed help in the ratings department, bringing in celebrity chefs that compliment her simple food done well philosophy can't hurt.
Yesterday was one of my favorite chefs, Tyler Florence. Among the stuff they made...fried chicken, something that I can get into when its done well, and this recipe is amazing. Who knew simple fried chicken could be so good. The Tyler Florence Fried Chicken recipe HERE.
I took their tips and added a few of my own to make this recipe work. Here they are so you too can easily duplicate the results I got.
First...use peanut oil, it has a higher smoking point and doesn't impart a bitter burnt oil taste as easily as the less oils with a lower smoking point. It made a difference as the house didn't even smell of oil when I was done frying. Because it can take a higher heat less is absorbed when cooking too.
An interesting thing Tyler did was to flavor the cooking oil with herbs and garlic. Hmmmm I thought, this could be something big and it is. Wow, I used a whole head of garlic since we are fans of the garlic here. The process is so stupid easy I don't know why I never thought of it before. Simply halve your garlic head, add the prescribed herbs and slowly heat the oil to temp. Tip...watch the garlic as it does get bitter when burnt, so yank it and the herbs out when the garlic head is a rich golden brown...somewhere around 300-325F.
A step included in this recipe is brining, or marinating in a salt solution. I've always skipped this step as the one time I had brined poultry it as so salty it was inedible...WTF it was nasty. Flash forward 10 years and I give it a try using Tyler's recipe and it was pretty amazing. Moist flavorful, even the breasts, and not salty. I think my friend Harry overdid the salt when he brined which made it mealy and disgusting. I'll use this formula and timing with future chicken recipes as it really made a positive difference in the chicken tonight.
The other think I've learned over the years is allow the chicken to rest after its battered for 10-15 minutes while the oil and herbs come up to temperature. Doing this allow the batter to adhere well to the chicken and not flake off while cooking or on the plate while you try to eat it. It made the world of difference with this chicken. Am glad I did it. It was a home run with everyone including my UBER picky daughter.