Brian in the Kitchen Recipes
BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN brought to you by Stittsworth Meats
August 31 2017
Labor Day Eats - Jalapeno Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken
2 cups Buttermilk
1 12oz jar of Pickled Jalapeno Slices - the ones you put on Nachos
2 cloves Garlic, lightly smashed
8 Chicken Drumsticks - Wanna butcher them yourself? Check out Rachel’s latest article on XOJane.com
2 cup Masa Harina/Corn Flour - Not Corn Meal. Not Corn Starch. And not “instantánea.”
2 cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Goya Adobo (con comino, por favor)
about 2 cups Crisco– it’s all we use for Fried Chicken because it tastes like Rachel’s Grandma’s cooking, but you can use your favorite neutral tasting frying oil (Peanut, etc)
You will also need:
A sturdy, heavy pot for frying that will hold 1 ½ inches of oil(cast iron skillet or dutch oven!)
Two baking sheets
Two Wire Racks
Good Fried Chicken takes time because brining takes time. We don’t always love a wet brine, but it works for this recipe because the pieces are small and manageable enough to not turn your fridge into a cesspool. Beyond the awesome flavor Buttermilk and Jalapeno Brine bring to the table, the marinade also tenderizes an otherwise kinda chewy protein.
At least 4 hours before your fry: combine the Buttermilk, all (yes. all) of the Brine from the Jalapenos, and Garlic in a large bowl. Adding some Jalapeno slices will help you get your preferred level of heat: leave them out if you like it mild, we go with about ¼ cup of Jalapenos for a nice medium. If you like to eat rocket fuel: use ½ cup and puree the brine. It’s so good, but hot as balls.
Stick it in the fridge and let it hang as long as 24 hours.
When you’re ready to fry, let the Chicken (safely) sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes to get the chill out and start setting up your frying assembly line.
Fill one shallow bowl with the Masa Harina, Flour, and Goya Adobo (stir it up, duh). Place the bowl right next to your stove.
In between the Chicken and Flour, place one Baking Sheet lined with a Wire Rack. Place the other BakingSheet/Rack combo on the burners of your stove not being used for Fried Chicken.
Add the Crisco (or whatever) to your pan and let it melt over medium heat. You’ll know your oil is hot enough to fry when it’s shimmery and a pinch of Flour dropped into the pan immediately starts to fizz.
Remove two Drumsticks from the Brine and let them drain for a few seconds on the Wire Rack. There should be some Brine still on the meat, but it shouldn’t be gloppy or drippy.
Dredge the Drumsticks completely in the Flour, shake off any excess, and carefully place into your hot oil. Fry on the first side for 8-10 minutes, and flip. The crust should be a dark, deep golden brown with the occasional mahogany colored spot. Add two more pieces of drained and dredged Drumsticks.
Cook for another 8-10 minutes on side two, or until a meat thermometer reads 180°. Set the Chicken on the other Wire Rack (the one free of Raw Chicken Cooties) to drain. Flip the Drumsticks you added when you flipped for the first time. Carry on dredging and frying, staggering and flipping, until all of your Drumsticks have cooked.
If you’re working in large batches, you may want to keep the already-fried stuff in the oven, on the Wire Rack, at 325° until everything’s done.