Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Recipe Of The Day: Fried Chicken w/ Cayenne Honey

Today is National Fried Chicken Day, and therefore we must revisit one of our most prized recipes Fried Chicken and Cayenne Honey. This recipe is an adaptation to an even older recipe we came across before the dreams of going to culinary school had even entered our heads.
Many years later we still find ourselves making this simple, classic recipe, that has the perfect crunch every time, so long as you watch your oil temperature. The cayenne honey is the perfect finishing touch that adds that amazing bit of spicy sweetness that goes so perfect with this gloriously golden, crunchy and hopefully moist and juicy Fried Chicken.

Fried chicken & Cayenne Honey
1 quart buttermilk, plus 2 cups
Kosher salt
2 tsp chili de arbol powder (or 2 tablespoons hot sauce)
2 chickens (3 to 4 pounds each, cut up into 8 pieces each)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS sweet paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
Peanut oil, for deep-frying
Cayenne honey, recipe follows

Whisk together 1 quart of the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt, and the chili de arbol in a large bowl or large baking dish.
Add the chicken, turn to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Place the remaining 2 cups of buttermilk in a bowl.
Stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika and cayenne in a large bowl and divide among 2 shallow platters and season generously with salt and pepper.

Drain the chicken in a colander and pat it dry.
Dredge the pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and pat off excess, then dip in the buttermilk and allow excess to drain off.
Dredge in the second plate of flour and pat off the excess.
Put the chicken pieces on a baking rack set over a baking sheet while the oil heats.

Pour about 3 inches of oil into a deep cast iron skillet; the oil should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pot.
Put the pot over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Working in batches, add the chicken pieces to the hot oil, 3 or 4 at a time and fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until evenly golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a rack to drain; repeat to cook the remaining pieces.
Serve hot, drizzled with the cayenne honey.

Cayenne Honey:
1 cup honey
2 TBS cayenne pepper 
Kosher Salt to taste

Cayenne Honey Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together in a glass bowl and season with salt to taste
(A helpful hint: give the bowl a quick spray with Pam / cooking spray, to help the honey come right out. Do not over spray the bowl or your honey will become oily)

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