Sig has been practicing his fried chicken but it has never turned out to his satisfaction until he saw how Ina Garten does it on the Food Network. Just for the record, I thought his practice attempts were pretty damn good and ate them up quite happily but if he wants to be a perfectionist in the kitchen, I won’t get in his way. Ina (we’re on a first name basis now) fries it first to get the crispy coating and then finishes it off in the oven. Sig was finding that when he completely deep-fried the chicken, it was too dark on the outside by the time it was fully cooked on the inside. He tried Ina’s method but with a seasoning blend that is supposedly based and tweaked on the Colonel’s secret blend. It uses far less oil and I have not tasted better chicken! -Steph McVox
Lincoln Park Fried Chicken
2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in 8 serving pieces
1 litre buttermilk
Dash of hot sauce
Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
Sig’s Seasoning Blend
· 3 cups flour
· 3 tablespoons salt
· 2 tablespoons paprika
· 1 tablespoon garlic powder
· 2 teaspoons dried thyme
· 2 teaspoons dried oregano
· 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
· 1 teaspoon mustard, ground
· ½ teaspoon cumin
1. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over the pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Whisk the flour and spices (seasoning blend) together in a large shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs and hot sauce together in a another shallow bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk, let the excess buttermilk drip off and dip each piece into the egg mixture and then coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Let rest 5-10 minutes on a wire rack. Meanwhile, pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.
4. Working in batches, carefully place a few pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
This makes a lot of chicken but we also had it cold the next day – still delicious!