Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
Chicken was on sale this week $.29 / pound for leg quarters. After I did the butchers job, separating legs from thighs, cut off the backs and tails, removed all the extra fat, I still had a little over $3.00 in 12 legs and 12 thighs. I bought so much 'cause it's Sunday and I'm cookin' for the week. I've been hankerin' for Fried Chicken so I figured I'd have another shot at it. I had some fried chicken tenders at the Super Bowl party at my local watering hole that were great and REAL moist. When I asked Charlie (head chef) how he did it, he told me that he always brines chicken prior to frying it. 6 months later I'm trying it. I looked all over my favorite web sites for different brines and found that the common denominators were; water, salt, vinegar, sweet, and spices. Lookin' around the galley for available stuff, I came up with this recipe. I took half the chicken and made it according to my Fried Chicken recipe, letting it soak in buttermilk with a little chipotle tabasco in it for a little bite. Then, I created the other marinade (recipe shown below), which is really a brine. Let both soak in the refrigerator for about 8 hours. Cooking the buttermilk batch, the smell was of normal fried chicken. The brined version smelled of the vinegar and I was concerned that the vinegar might give it an off flavor. Boy, was I wrong. Now, don't get me wrong, the buttermilk chicken was good, but, the brined chicken was GREAT. The smell of the vinegar while cooking must have been the vinegar cooking out. This brined version was more moist with a better sense of the flavors that were in the brine, especially the maple syrup. And, the Cajun Spice flavors of the Butt Kickin' Blacken really come through. Now you could say that it was just me talking about something that I made, but I had a buddy over tonight. A Southern buddy. Even he liked my version better than the buttermilk, even though the buttermilk version tasted just like his Granny used to make. So I guess it's a keeper and I figured I'd write it down before I forgot what I did. I can't even think of anything that I'd do different. Butt Kickin' Blacken contains neither slat nor sugar, and can be purchased at http://www.capnrons.com/index.html?id=RZMFC
marinade or brine
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup maple syrup
- 1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning, Butt Kickin' Blacken
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon TABASCO® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- 6 chicken thighs
- 6 chicken legs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning, Butt Kickin' Blacken, to taste
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Make the brine by combining all of the ingredients, and mixing well. Place the chicken in a plastic bag, add the marinade, and place in the refrigerator for about 8 hours, but at least 2 hours.
- Mix the flour and seasonings together in a large flat pan like a jelly roll pan (I use a half chafer pan 'cause of the high sides. Take the chicken out of the bag with tongs, lay in the flour mixture then turn over. Take 3 legs and 3 thighs out to coat with this flour mixture. Rub the flour into the chicken with your hands, don't shake off the excess and place in a pan to get ready for frying.
- Heat the oil to about 300°F in a black frying pan, and place the chicken in being careful not to splash the oil.
- Leave the chicken alone for 10 - 12 minutes. When you start to see some blood being forced out of the chicken (this means that the chicken is cooking), carefully turn them over. Leave another 10 - 12 minutes. The second side should be well colored.
- Take them out with tongs letting them drain back into the pan prior to placing on paper towels.
- To make a crispier chicken, change the way you flour the pieces. Get 3 bowls going. One with the seasoned flour, the next with beaten egg and milk, and the third with seasoned flour. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, then the egg mixture, then the seasoned flour again.
- Serve while hot.