Fried chicken. Where does one begin? I'll start by saying that it's one of my favorite things to cook with my husband. I do all the prep work, he does all the frying, and then we indulge in it together. Fried chicken is a special kind of food that gives you a hug and makes you stop thinking about the craziness of your day and focus on the present moment. Don't be afraid to allow fried chicken's crispy texture and flavor layered goodness to create a party in your mouth! Chances are you will feel a little better while eating fried chicken. Okay it might be temporary satisfaction, but I'll take it, and I'll allow it to be the highlight of my day because life is too short not to enjoy the simple things.
In my kitchen we use boneless chicken thighs because it's our favorite part of the bird. But by all means you can use chicken breasts, legs, wings, or better yet a whole chicken! This recipe is flexible that way. Fried chicken tastes delicious at room temperature and contrary to belief it can be reheated in the oven, or dare I say it even eaten directly out of the fridge! You can make sandwiches the next day on a nice soft bun or toss it into a salad. The delta sauce recipe is optional but I really love it. It's almost like Russian dressing but much spicier and really elevates the fried chicken. The sauce can also be used on french fries, tostones, and yucca fries.
Fried chicken can be a bit of a messy kitchen adventure that does require a little time but believe when I say that it's absolutely worth it! I like to serve fried chicken with roasted potatoes and either a bright green salad or braised collard greens with a little lemon juice to balance out the richness of the chicken. Though if you decide to serve your fried chicken with flaky buttermilk biscuits, I'd expect an invitation for dinner at your place. ;)
Spicy Fried Chicken Thighs
The recipe is based off of this one and it's truly a keeper!
- 2lbs. organic boneless chicken thighs*
- salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup Frank's Red Hot or other vinegar based hot pepper sauce
- 1/3 cup water
- 4 cups flour
- 2-3 teaspoons cayenne powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh pepper
- peanut or canola oil for frying
- kosher salt to taste
makes about 2 cups
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup sambal oelek
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- fresh pepper to taste
*You can absolutely use boneless breast meat just be sure to read my note on the bottom of recipe.
- For chicken: Place chicken in a large plastic freezer bag and cover with buttermilk. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours before cooking.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, water and hot pepper sauce. Whisk until combined.
- In a large gallon sized freezer bag, mix flour, paprika, pepper and cayenne.
- Remove chicken from buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place all chicken pieces in freezer bag with flour mixture. Shake until all pieces are evenly coated.
- Remove all chicken pieces one at a time, shaking off excess flour. Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture, and return to bag of flour. After all pieces have been dipped into egg mixture and put back in flour bag, give another shake to coat the pieces of chicken again.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven to 350 degrees. Working in batches, drop each piece of chicken in hot oil. Fry for about 5-7 minutes each side or until golden brown. *If you're using breast meat it will cook faster. Season chicken with a sprinkle of kosher salt.
For the delta sauce: combine everything in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.