outdoor fried chicken

prep time:  13 hours
cook time:  45 minutes
servings:  12 - 15

8 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 quart buttermilk
3/4 cup loosely packed rubbed sage leaves
1/4 cup old bay seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup pepper
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups vegetable oil
3 strips thick-cut bacon

1.  put thighs in a large roasting pan and add buttermilk to cover.  cover pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours turning once or twice.

2.  heat oven to 250 degrees.  combine sage, old bay seasoning, salt and pepper; mix well.  remove thighs from buttermilk, drain, then sprinkle on both sides with spice mix, rubbing lightly to make sure it adheres.  put flour and baking powder in a big paper bag and shake to mix.  working in batches, add about a third of the thighs and shake to coat with flour mixture; remove thighs from bag and repeat with next 2 batches.

3.  put vegetable oil and bacon in a 20-inch skillet.  set skillet over high flame and heat oil to about 370 degrees.  when oil is up to heat, remove bacon and drain it to eat later.

4.  shake excess flour off 1 thigh and add thigh to oil.  repeat with half the remaining thighs and add them to the pan, skin side down.  cook until golden brown on the side facing down, about 7 - 9 minutes.  flip over and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 5 - 7 minutes.  remove and rain on paper towel.  allow the oil to regain heat and repeat with remaining thighs. 

5.  put browned thighs in a roasting pan and cook in the oven until cooked through with no trace of pink, about 30 minutes.  remove from oven and serve warm.

- new york times, december 2013

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