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THE BEST FRIED CHICKEN
I’m sure you’re asking, “Is this REALLY the best fried chicken ever?” Well, I can only go by what my friends and family have shared with me: Our next door neighbor who is a chef said it was the best he ever had and my friend said it was “life changing”. Her words, not mine. But if you’d like to try it, please let me know what you think.
In the past when I tried to make fried chicken, the chicken would come out burnt on the outside and undercooked on the inside. Not very tasty…or edible.
HOW I CAME UP WITH MY RECIPE
I like to play in the kitchen, so for my birthday, my husband gifted me a sous vide machine. He loves beef, and he thought the first thing I would make for him would be a roast, but when I asked my neighbor what he thought I should do, he said, “fried chicken”. So that was it. The process was simple, and here you go.
I start by pouring half a jar of spicy pickle juice into a giant ziplock bag with two packages of chicken thighs and push out all the air.
Once I’ve put the chicken and pickle juice together I place it in the already warmed up sous vide water. I use an old canning pot my grandma used to use, and I place the sous vide machine on the side.
I cook it anywhere from 4-4 1/2 hours and once it’s finished place it in an ice bath directly from the warm water to the cold water to completely stop the cooking process. Then the tasty part starts…
I don’t typically measure things. This recipe was no different, so I took the time to see what the “eyeball” on it actually measured. This is what I came up with:
- 3 lbs of chicken thighs (or breast-cut up) I find the thighs have a bit more flavor; either will work for this recipe.
- 1/2 jar of spicy/sweet pickle juice. (I used Famous Dave’s Signature SpicyPickle Spears. Wickles are delicious too, however the Commissary doesn’t have them here.)
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white corn meal (You could use any kind of corn meal. It doesn’t have to be white. It’s just what I had on hand.)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- Olive oil or Canola Oil (for cooking)
Begin by filling your pot with water so that the heating element and the food will be covered. Turn on your sous vide machine to 160 degrees F to begin warming the water. Once it comes up to temperature, submerge the bag in the water being sure to avoid having the bag touch the machine. Let cook for about 4 hours. Once the timer goes off, take out and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Combine the next 4 ingredients in one bowl and the last two in another. Mix each bowl well. (They will remain separate.)
Heat oil (about 1/4 of an inch from the bottom of the frying pan..You’re really only browning the chicken, not deep frying. Medium to medium high heat should do. (Pay attention throughout batches to make sure it’s not too hot.) I hate waiting, but trust me on this, you don’t want it burning your delicious, tender chicken.
Pull out your first piece of chicken. Start with the dry mixture. Coat the chicken. Then coat with wet mixture, and then one more time with the dry mixture.
Place in pre-heated pan. And “cook” for 2-3 minutes per side. Place cooked chicken on a plate covered in a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Enjoy with your favorite sides!
This particular night we enjoyed some comfort food with mashed potatoes and green beans.
I mentioned the sous vide machine at the beginning of the article as well as during the process of making it. The sous vide machine cooks the chicken completely. The “frying” process is just putting a really nice, crunchy crust on it. The sous vide completely makes the recipe with the marinade on it. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this machine, and I will be sure to share more sous vide recipes with you in the future. Go ahead and get yours now so you’ll be ready for the next one. I promise you won’t be disappointed with this recipe.
If you already have a sous vide machine, you may want to look at some accessories to go with it to make your cooking a little easier. I’m looking into these…
Please let me know if you try this recipe. I would love to hear how much you love it or if you did anything differently. 🙂 Please be sure to sign up for my e-mail and get a FREE copy of my e-book all about organization and planning.
Until next week…