Saturday night was our weekly culinary challenge. After cooking over the course of two days (and several hours the day of) during our Mediterranean Challenge, I decided it would be wise to switch this endeavor to a weekend day. (Smart girl, over here.) The challenge of fried chicken allowed me to break out a cookbook I’ve had for a while but hadn’t had an excuse to cook out of yet — A New Turn in the South. The book is written by Hugh Acheson of Top Chef fame. He also has restaurants in Atlanta (which M and I dined at) as well as in Athens, Ga., where M attended the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs! I figured if anyone is going to make a good fried chicken, it’s going to be my buddy Hugh. Truth: it was eh. It lacked the spicy, saltiness in the crust that, to me, screams fried chicken. The pickled green tomatoes in the cookbook however: yum. I also cooked his leek mashed potatoes (good) and made this Broccoli Salad minus the cranberries or raisins.
The fried chicken itself is actually pretty simple. I made a mix of thighs and drumsticks, though the original recipe only calls for thighs. 24 hours in advance, place the chicken in a Pyrex dish and coat it with 1 cup of buttermilk. Turn it a few times over the course of the next day. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and place it in a colander in the sink to drain.
In a paper bag, add 1 1/2 cups of flour HEAVILY seasoned with paprika and salt. Don’t be shy. I think this is where I went wrong. Place four pieces of chicken in the bag and shake, shake, shake to coat.
Fill a dutch oven filled with canola oil (1 1/2″ deep) and heat the oil to 325. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken and place it on a lined baking sheet and into a 325 degree oven. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Hugh’s recipe calls for the fried chicken to be served over a stewed tomato relish made from pickled green tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes and jalapenos. I liked the vinegary flavor of the side, but next time, I think I’ll just fry up some green tomatoes
Next week, our Culinary Challenge is Mexican! Of course, that throws a wrench in my meal plan but I’m okay with it. Bring on the queso!!!!
Note: this post contains affiliate links.