Prep4 hrs 30 mins
My recipe for a delicious fried chicken breaded in savory Mexican seasonings. PLEASE NOTE: The Nutritional Information listing here is inaccurate -- since only a fraction of flour and salt actually end up in the finished product. So be aware -- the suggested sodium, sugar, carbohydrate and calorie levels are ridiculously exaggerated!
- 8 -10 assorted pieces fresh chicken
- 8 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 1 fresh lime, cut into thin slices
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1 1⁄3 cups pre-sifted all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄4 cup instant masa corn flour
- 4 beaten large eggs
- canola oil
- NOTE: INSTANT MASA CORN FLOUR (TAMALE FLOUR) IS AVAILABLE IN MOST MAJOR SUPERMARKETS. IF SPICIER CHICKEN IS DESIRED, USE PICKLED HOT PEPPER JUICE TO BRINE (OR) REDUCE PAPRIKA TO 1 TEASPOON, AND INCREASE CHIPOTLE CHILE POWDER TO 1 TEASPOON (DO NOT ADD ANY MORE CHIPOTLE OR CAYENNE PEPPER THAN GIVEN HERE, AS IT WILL IMPART A BITTER FLAVOR TO THE BREADING). FOR ADDED FLAVORS: YOU CAN BOIL BRINE FIRST WITH FRESH CILANTRO, PEPPERS, ONION AND GARLIC; COOL COMPLETELY; ADD FRESH LIME SLICES THEN CHICKEN. (STEP ONE): RINSE and blot chicken.
- COMBINE 8 cups cold water and 2 tablespoons fine sea salt for the BRINE in a large wide saucepan (with an accompanying lid) until dissolved; ADD lime slices then chicken pieces; COVER and transfer to refrigerator; MARINATE chicken between 4-36 hours in refrigerator, turning chicken as needed (marinate 36 hours for the most tender, flavorful chicken). NOTE: FOR A QUICKER STOVETOP MARINATION METHOD, PIERCE CHICKEN PIECES WELL WITH A FORK, THEN HEAT THE BRINE WITH CHICKEN, COVERED, OVER LOW HEAT FOR 20-30 MINUTES (TURN CHICKEN ONCE MIDWAY THROUGH).
- MEASURE the SEASONING ingredients into a large sealable container (such as a GLAD food storage container or a Ziploc bag); SEAL the container; SHAKE mixture well until thoroughly blended; OPEN container and add the BREADING ingredients; RESEAL container and shake well.
- BEAT 4 large eggs in a medium bowl (for the eggwash); REMOVE chicken from the brine; RINSE chicken; BLOT chicken dry; DIP chicken in the EGGWASH (or batter) until evenly coated.
- PLACE one piece battered chicken at a time into the breading mixture container; SEAL container firmly; SHAKE chicken gently in all motions to thoroughly coat chicken until evenly and generously breaded; PRESS breading firmly onto chicken; PLACE breaded chicken piece onto a rack to rest; REPEAT with remaining pieces chicken; ALLOW breaded chicken to absorb the breading for a few minutes before frying.
- ADD the manufacturer's recommended amount oil for deep-frying (use canola oil); PLACE deep-fryer basket into place in deep-fryer; PREHEAT fryer to 315°F (or preheat enough fat to immerse chicken completely in deep heavy stovetop pot between 315°F to 325°F, using a standard deep-fryer thermometer to gauge).
- CAREFULLY drop each piece breaded chicken one at a time, gently into the deep-fryer basket without crowding (if a standard size home fryer is used, add no more than 2-3 pieces at a time); (if stovetop frying, gently place breaded chicken pieces into hot oil using tongs, turning once halfway through frying duration).
- FRY chicken between 16-18 minutes until golden brown and fully cooked, depending on chicken portions/sizes (juices should run clear when chicken is done); PLACE chicken on wire rack over baking sheet; TRANSFER into a preheated 170°F oven until all chicken has been fried.
- MAINTAIN frying oil temperature for remaining chicken; REPEAT the same cooking/steaming or warming procedures for the remaining chicken; SERVE.
- SNAP your fingers and shout, "OLE!".