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