I’m not sure how logical this was, but I’m heading back to Charleston, SC on vacation for a few days, and decided cooking fried chicken would help me get ready for the South. Now I’m a little fried food out, pre-trip, but it was definitely worth it. This chicken, while not the healthiest option, is great because if you absolutely can’t dismiss that fried food craving, why not try out an easy recipe where you can control what goes into it? I found this recipe on The Domestic Man – easy, delicious, and perfect for summer. Just not all summer…
From The Domestic Man:
2.5 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, breasts, wings or drumsticks
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
2 or 3 cups lard (or ghee – clarified butter)
In the recipe, he suggests using lard if you have a good source for it. I actually ended up using ghee, which is clarified butter, or butter with the milk solids removed. It has a different taste to it and is used in Indian cooking, among other uses. Because the milk solids are removed, it has a higher smoke point than butter (which would burn for frying). I definitely would use ghee for frying again, but if you left it to heat too high too long, it will still burn. But it contributed to some amazingly crispy, juicy chicken.
Rinse and pat dry the chicken, and put it in a large bowl with the buttermilk to marinate overnight in the fridge. This will help it get extra juicy, and give it that southern flair. The next day, when you’re getting ready to cook, drain the chicken in a colander for about 20 minutes or so, to bring it to room temperature. This will also help it fry, because if you put chicken straight from the fridge into the hot oil, the oil would cool down too much. Warm the ghee or lard in a cast iron skillet for 5-10 minutes.
In a baking pan or bowl, mix the potato starch, paprika, salt, and pepper. Once the chicken has sat in the colander long enough, coat the chicken in the starch (only the pieces you are just about to fry). By now, the ghee should be hot enough to cook the chicken; about 10 minutes on each side. The internal temperature should be about 165 degrees when you’re done.
As you’re frying the chicken in batches, put the oven on 200 to keep the cooked pieces warm while you finish the rest. Invite some friends over – or go to a friend’s place with a view like I did, haha…and enjoy! And good luck trying to fight the dogs for the leftovers…persistent pups.
I’m not joking when I say I can taste this chicken just looking at the photos. It was crazy. Next time, I think I might try with coconut flour rather than potato starch, to give it some semblance of nutrition. I need to look more into this, but coconut flour has high fiber and protein, whereas potato starch has no fiber or protein. It’d certainly help, but fried chicken is still fried chicken. And it was soo good on such a beautiful summer day!
This fried chicken was insane…and medieval. Good luck being around it and not eating it.