Friday, October 26, 2012

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Is Better Than The Rest

What are you trying to say, you might be asking. What on earth is "sweet tea brined chicken" you are wondering. Are you crazy, you probably mumble; and the answer to all of these questions would be YES, a resounding nonsensical YES. Sweet tea brined chicken is the new, new. Something about the tannins in the tea and the sweetness of the sugar that balances nicely with the herby and salty brine that makes this the go to brine for me for the next 6 months.

Lets cut to the chase and talk about how I did what I did and if you know me like I know me you know I wont be posting a recipe as much as I will describe the process. I took some legs and thighs and separated the drumstick from the thigh and then I trimmed the thigh of its extra fat and the tail bones and what not until they looked just right, and while I wanted to show a picture of this I determined that it was a little too much so you have to imagine it. Now you have your chicken pieces and its time to make the brine. You can use whatever combinations of spices you like, they sell pre-mixed poultry seasonings and these work fine, you can mix and match with cajun seasonings or whatever your little heart desires as long as it has salt, if it doesnt you need to add salt until its salty like the sea: until whats salty like the sea? You ask. Your chicken that is covered in sweet tea! Thats right. You can brew some tea and sweeten it or buy some half gallon jug of pre-made sweet tea and pour that over your chicken and spices.

Speaking of spices you can see some flecks of spices in my chicken and that is a combination of thyme and rosemary, my favorites to go with poultry, now let your chicken pieces sit in the brine for 3 hours up to 12 hours - any longer and your chicken might get a little too salty depending on how salty your brine is. Drain it, pat it dry and here comes the tricky part. Crush one large bag of wavy potato chips and mix with 3 cups of flour and add what ever combinations of herbs and spices and this will be your crunchy, crispy crust. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, dip in beaten egg and dredge again, shaking off the excess. Fry at 300F turning often until they are pleasantly golden and the liquid that is showing is starting to get clear. Transfer to a wire rack and put in a 350F oven for 15 minutes to finish the cooking and to add extra crunch to the crunch. I fry the thighs and legs separate since they cook at a different rate.

Using your vegetable peeler you can peel some carrots, apple and cucumber into a bowl, toss with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and a drip or two of honey and this is your slaw. Make some biscuits in the same hot oven that the chicken is in and in about 35-40 minutes you will be sitting down to this fantastic meal. This about sums it up and from where I sit there should be no questions.
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