Chicken Fingers with General Tso’s Dipping Sauce

October 12, 2014

As a single father, you can be sure that I’ve made quite a few chicken nuggets (see here , here, here, here and here). But in my opinion, the biggest leap forward in chicken nugget evolution came a few years ago when I switched away from breading-based nuggets. I adapted this batter fried chicken recipe and used it to make batter-based nuggets; which has become my go to recipe. But a recent job change means that I simply cannot afford the requisite 1 hour and 15 minutes to make them (and be left with a pretty big mess in the kitchen) on a weeknight. Today’s recipe promises make-ahead convenience without sacrificing the crispness of the final chicken. I was skeptical, but was excited to give them a try. Unfortunately, the recipe yielded barely enough chicken for one meal, so I had nothing left-over (which I was intending to serve for dinner one night and use the left-overs as “make-ahead”). The chicken fingers are solid, 3-1/2 stars. Cooking with such a small amount of oil greatly simplifies clean up. There are a few minor issues (see comments below).

Easy to make and not much of a mess

Easy to make and not much of a mess

Comments:

  1. While I love the idea of cooking with just 1/4-cup of oil per batch, it simply did not work in my kitchen. My Cook’s-Illustrated-recommended, 12-inch TFal skillet does not have a perfectly flat cooking surface (it’s raised slightly in the middle, pushing the oil to the sides).
  2. The recipe calls for a ridiculously small amount of chicken; just 1-1/2 pounds; enough for a single dinner. I’m not sure why they advertise this recipe as a make-ahead time-saver. I suggest doubling the recipe (The brine is already enough to accommodate 3 pounds of chicken fingers. Increase Panko from to 3 cups. Use 3 eggs; maybe 4).
  3. While the original recipe calls for 2 cups of Panko, there was a lot of leftover. I’ve reduced the amount in the recipe to 1-1/2 cups.
  4. The original recipe called for 3 eggs, but I’ve reduced the recipe to use 2 eggs.

So many Dipping Sauces……

  1. I’ve previously made General Tso’s Chicken. While that recipe wasn’t a perfect replicate of classic General Tso, it was delicious nevertheless. Chris Kimball has finally come out with a General Tso’s recipe, which was the basis from which I adapted it for use as a dipping sauce. My adaptation is at the bottom of this post.
  2. A classic and simple BBQ Dipping Sauce Recipe is here. But it yields more sauce than I usually need, so I would recommend cutting the recipe in half.
  3. I made a delicious Hoisin Sesame Dipping Sauce.
  4. Another sweeter Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce is here. I thought that this sauce was disproportionately sweet (which was okay with my kids).
  5. A spicier version is Spicy Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce. I loved the fresh lime juice in this sauce.
  6. Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce. But beware, the recipe uses a habanero chile, so it was pretty hot.
  7. Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. Chris Kimball have a basic recipe using only honey and mustard. However, the recipe yields a cup; probably need to use down by at least 50%.
  8. Spicy Jamaican Jerk Dipping Sauce. The recipe yields a lot of sauce. Start by cutting the recipe in half.

Storing and Reheating……

  1. Transfer cooled chicken fingers to zipper-lock freezer bags, press out air, and seal. Freeze for up to 1 month.
  2. Do not thaw before reheating.) Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken fingers on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and bake until heated through and crisp, about 30 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through baking. Serve.
  3. To cook, simply heat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake them until they’re heated through and crisp, about 30 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through cooking.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $4.50.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Start time 4:45 PM. Dinner time 5:00 PM.

The Cook’s Illustrated original recipe is here. and was published by CNN here. The General Tso’s Chicken recipe from which I adapted the sauce is here. The recipe as I cooked it today is as follows:

Chicken Fingers Recipe:
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

  1. Trim chicken and cut lengthwise into 3/4″-wide strips.
  2. In a large bowl, add 2 cups of cold water and dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt. Add chicken fingers to brine, ensure that they are entirely submerged, cover with [plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the 2 cups of Panko in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling constantly so that it brown evenly.
  4. Also, prepare 3 shallow dishes as follows: (1) add flour, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to a pie plate is whisk until combined. (2) lightly beat 3 large eggs, and (3) spread the toasted panko into a third pie plate.
  5. When chicken has finished brining, discard the brine and pat chicken dry using paper towels.
  6. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour mixture, dip in eggs, then coat with panko, pressing gently to adhere; transfer to large plate.
  7. Put a wire rack set inside a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  8. Wipe of skillet and pre-heat 1/4 cup oil over medium burner until it begins to shimmer. Cook one-third of chicken in skillet for 3 minutes per side until it turns golden brown. Be sure to check the temperature of the larger pieces, as a few of mine didn’t cook to 165-degrees. Transfer to prepared wire rack and they become ready.
  9. Wipe out skillet and repeat shallow frying the remaining batches. Serve immediately and allow the chicken cool for 30 minutes before freezing.

General Tso’s Dipping Sauce Recipe:
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar (or I suggest substituting 2 tablespoons apricot or orange jam)
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Combine water, hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved and no lumps remain. Set aside.
  2. Add oil to a small saucepan. Saute garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes for 1 minute. Add the hoisin mixture, making sure to scrape out and sugar or starch that has sunk to the bottom. Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Transfer sauce to a dipping bowl and serve.

Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 2

September 16, 2014

The second try definitely worked out better. While my plan had been to use low-sodium soy sauce, on my way home from the supermarket I realized that I had forgotten to buy it. So I reduced the soy sauce (and therefore the saltiness) by 1/3 cup. The flavors were much more robust when not masked by the extreme saltiness of my first attempt.  Also, I broiled the chicken for just 2 minutes (in Step 8) until the chicken was lightly browned. Even though the chicken was far from the broiler element, it is still amazing how fast this 195-degree chicken will crisp up. This attempt earns a solid 4-stars; flavorful and balanced, easy to make.

Better than the first time

Better than the first time

BTW – Chris Kimball recommends serving this with steamed rice, but because my son had a friend over who loves potatoes, I served it with mashed potatoes. The kids gave the recipe as high as 4-1/2 stars.

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
2/3 cup soy sauce (or 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce)
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees. Trim away any skin and excess fat from the bottom of the thighs.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 3/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put the skillet into the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 3 to 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

Mahogany Chicken Thighs, Part 1.

September 13, 2014

Actually, I made this recipe before my summer vacation, and I forgot to rate it at that time. My only comments were that it was too salty, and that I accidentally let mine broil for too long. It was a little too dark, but still flavorful. I will make it again tonight, and will post Part 2 tomorrow. The changes I will make are to buy low-sodium soy sauce and will be extra vigilant during the broiling process.

Final results were a little salty and overly dark

Final results were a little salty and overly dark

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball reminds us to trim all visible fat and skin from the underside of the chicken. Tonight I am going to use a combination of thighs and drumsticks, so I’m not sure how I will trim the drumsticks,
  2. He also recommends serving with steamed rice, but I might make potatoes.

Cost: $5
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:30 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1-1/2 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4-lbs bone-in chicken thighs
2″ ginger piece
6 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  1. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 300-degrees.
  2. In an oven-safe 12″ skillet, whisk together 1 cup water, 1 cup water, 1 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Arrange chicken with the skin side down in skillet and soy sauce mixture.  Peel ginger, cut in half and smash. Peel the garlic cloves and smash.
    Nestle the ginger and garlic between the chicken pieces.
  3. Put over medium burner and bring up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, then put skillet in pre=heated oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Flip chicken skin-side up and contine to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken reaches 195-degrees. Remove chicken to serving platter.
  5. Pour cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a fat separator. Allow to settle for 5 minutes. Turn over to broil.
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk corn starch together with 1/2 cup water.
  7. Pour 1 cup of the de-fatted juices into the skillet and bring up to a simmer over medium burner. Whisk in water/corn starch and simmer for 1 minute, until thickened. Pour sauce into serving bowl and set aside.
  8. Put chicken back into skillet and broil for 4 minutes until well browned. Return chicken to serving platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving; passing the sauce separately.

 


Chicken Saltimbocca

April 26, 2014

This was the second recipe that I ever made on this blog, over 4 years ago. It continues to be one of my favorite Chris Kimball recipe of all time. The recipe as I’ve listed below is portioned slightly different from Chris Kimball’s original recipe; this version yields 6 cutlets rather than 8. I make it every few weeks, because it is so easy and perfect for a mid-week meal; it is ready in about 45 minutes with minimal effort. My kids love it and the pay off is immense. The only thing that can go wrong with the recipe is you don’t reduce the wine sufficiently in Step 11. Otherwise a fool-proof 5-stars.

Delicious and takes about 15 minutes of work

Delicious and takes about 15 minutes of work

Comments:

  1. I sometimes make Saltimboca when visiting friends and relatives, and noticed that many supermarkets only sell pre-packaged prosciutto. The pre-packaged stuff is always domestic, and I prefer Prosciutto de Parma available only at deli counter. Ask them to cut it thick enough for the slices to hold together.   It they are cut too thinly sliced, or shaved, you risk losing the prosciutto when you flip the chicken. On the other extreme, thick slices won’t stick to the chicken.
  2. If you get the thin end of the prosciutto, then you’ll need 6 slices.
  3. The only thing that can go wrong with this recipe is that you don’t reduce the sauce properly in step 11. If you don’t concentrate the wine sufficiently, the sauce will not be intense. Also be careful not to burn the sauce, it goes quickly from 1/4-cup down to burned goo.

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $8.
How much work? Low
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 5:30pm. Dinner time 6:30pm.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1/3-cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
3 slices prosciutto (1/4-pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cups dry vermouth or white wine
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon table salt
Ground black pepper

  1. Trim away any ragged edges as necessary, and cut away the pointy tips trimming back 1 inch to form a rounded cutlet. Lay chicken flat on cutting board and put in freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put flour in a shallow dish or plate.
  3. Lay your hand flat on top of chicken, and with knife flat (parallel to cutting board) slice each breast to form two thinner cutlets. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half to form 6 pieces. I like to cut it at a bit of an angle to approximate the shape of the chicken cutlets.
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200°.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in 12″ skillet (regular, not non-stick) over medium-high burner until begins to shimmer; about 4 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, work in batches of 3, pat cutlets dry with paper towels. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off any excess and lay cutlets flat with the flattest side upward. Lay a slice of prosciutto on top of each cutlet, pressing lightly to try to get it to adhere. (mine never adheres, but it’s okay)
  7. Add 3 cutlets to skillet with the prosciutto-side down. Cook for 4 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Flip and cook on other side until golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Ensure that the internal temperature of the chicken
  9. Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  10. Repeat with another 1 tablespoons olive oil and remaining 3 cutlets, then put in oven to keep warm while preparing sauce.
  11. Pour off any excess fat from skillet. Turn up heat to high and add vermouth/wine. Use metal spatula to scrape up any browned bits, and allow to reduced for 7 minutes to about 1/4 cup. Add lemon juice and whisk in butter, a tablespoon at a time.
  12. Off heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from oven and place on platter. Spoon sauce over cutlets before serving.

Italian-Style Charcoal-Grilled Chicken

April 13, 2014

Yesterday was the best grilling day so far in 2014, so I took advantage by making a simple, grilled, herb chicken.  The recipe uses common bricks, wrapped in foil, to ensure that the skin will brown evenly and completely rendered. The skin was delicious, but tore away in spots because I didn’t loosen it using a metal spatula in step 11. I originally made this recipe about 4 years ago, but again somewhat under-estimated the time required to make the recipe. Because I used a 5-lb chicken (the recipe is timed for a 4-lb chicken), I added 5-minutes to each of the grilling times given in the instructions. The chicken was perfectly cooked and flavorful. Just be sure that you start early enough in the afternoon, allocating 4 hours for a 5-pound chicken. 4-stars.

Beautifully grilled chicken; but takes 4 hours

Beautifully grilled chicken; but takes 4 hours

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball says that you can use a cast iron skillet in lieu of bricks, but I recommend bricks for each of clean-up.
  2. Be sure to use a thermometer to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked. The timings were off by more than 20 minutes, based upon the size of my chicken.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $7.00
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium/High.
Start time 2:30 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I cooked it today are given below:

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium garlic cloves
1 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons juice
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
4-pound whole chicken
Vegetable oil for cooking grate

  1. In a small saucepan, add olive oil, lemon zest, and pepper flakes. Peel garlic and press the 8 cloves directly into oil. Place saucepan over medium-low burner and bring up to a simmer; about 3 minutes. Meanwhile chop thyme and rosemary, and when oil begins to simmer add 3 teaspoons thyme and 2 teaspoons rosemary and cook for 30 seconds more (reserving 1 teaspoon of each herb for sauce in step 13). Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and strain oil, pressing on solids to extract as much oil as possible (for use in sauce in step 13). Empty solids into another small bowl (to apply onto chicken in step 5), and set aside both bowls.
  2. Butterfly the chicken by cutting through bones on both sides of backbone (with kitchen shears); either discard backbone or save for making homemade chicken stock.
  3. Flip chicken over and use the heel of your hand to flatten the breasts; tuck the wings behind the back. Use your fingers to loosen the skin over the breasts, thighs and drumsticks. Trim away any excess fat to prevent flareups.
  4. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt ( or 1-1/2 teaspoons table salt) and 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon salt/pepper mixture (or or 1-1/2 teaspoons if using table salt) with cooled garlic solids.
  5. Use your fingers to evenly spread the salt/garlic mixture under skin on the breast, thighs, drumsticks.
  6. Flip chicken and sprinkle remaining salt/pepper on the meat on the boney side of the chicken.
  7. Set a wire rack in foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Put chicken skin-side up and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours.
  8. With about 20 minutes remaining, light a 3/4-filled chimney starter filled with charcoal and allow 20-minutes to ignite. Meanwhile wrap 2 bricks with aluminum foil.
  9. After coals become mostly covered in fine grey ash, evenly spread all coals over half the grill, leaving the other half empty. Set the cooking grate and position the wrapped bricks directly over coals. Cover and pre-heat for 5 minutes. Clean the cooking grate (using dish towels to handle the hot bricks); scrape grill and wipe with a wad of vegetable-oil dipped paper towels. You should only be able to hold your hand 5″ above grill grate for 3 to 4 seconds.
  10. Set chicken with skin-side down over the cool side of the grill with the legs facing towards the fire. Using dish towels to handle the hot bricks put them lengthwise over each breast. Cover and cook for 25 minutes; until you see faint grill marks.
  11. Use a metal spatula to carefully ensure that the chicken hasn’t stuck to the grill. Use tongs and a kitchen towel, gripping legs, a flip chicken. Position with skin-side up directly over the coals with the breasts towards the center of the grill. Replace bricks over breasts, cover grill, and continue cooking for 12 to 15 minutes until the chicken becomes well-browned.
  12. Remove bricks (you won’t use them anymore) and flip chicken skin-side down to crisp the skin over the hot coals.  Continue cooking for at least 5 to 10 minutes, moving chicken around to cook evenly and to prevent flare-ups. When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches the proper temperature (165-degrees for chicken breasts and 175-degrees for thighs and drumstick), move to a cutting board and allow to rest, uncovered for 10 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, add lemon juice into oil reserved from step 1. Add remaining thyme and rosemary, and adjust salt and pepper according to your taste. Carve chicken and serve, passing the sauce separately.

“Perfect” Poached Chicken Breasts with Cumin-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

March 28, 2014

While Chris Kimball has a tendency to claim every one of his recipes is the best ever, I nevertheless wanted to investigate his latest claim that this recipe will render “perfect” poached chicken breasts. I remember he tried a something technique about 2 years ago (see here). The bottom-line is a little better than 2 years ago; the chicken is perfectly cooked and moist. His new technique use a vegetable steam to elevate the chicken from the hot pans bottom helps cook the chicken even more evenly. But my main complaint is the same as before. I care more about better flavor than perfect texture, and the lack of any carmalization whatsoever leaves a lackluster result. I paired the chicken with a delicious Cumin-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce; he also has a warm tomato-ginger vinaigrette; but leaving all the flavoring to the sauce makes this recipe just 3-1/2 stars. Still perfectly enjoyable, but coming up short.

Tasted better than the phone appears

Tasted better than the cell phone photo appears

I think that this recipe would be better if you quickly browned the chicken in a skillet before poaching. You can later use that same skillet to make your sauce, and use the sauteing of the shallot to build even more flavor.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $10
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Ready at 6:15 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original chicken recipe is here, and the sauce recipe is here. My descriptions of how I prepare them are given below:

Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6- to 8-ounce each)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  1. Trim chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap and use a meat pounder to gently pound the thick ends until measures 3/4″ thick.
  2. Add 4 quarts water to Dutch oven, adding 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons sugar. Whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Peel and smash garlic and add to pot.
  3. Put steamer basket into Dutch oven, which will prevent the chicken from touching to hot bottom. Submerge chicken with skin-side up, arranging so as to not overlap the chicken. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Place Dutch oven over medium burner, occasionally stirring liquid to ensure even heating, for 15 to 20 minutes until the water measures 175-degrees. Remove your pot from burner, cover, and allow to sit for 18 to 22 minutes until the chicken registers 160-degrees.
  5. Allow chicken to rest of a cutting board for 5 minutes, covered tightly with aluminum foil.
  6. Meanwhile make your sauce according to the recipe below.
  7. After resting, slice chicken on bias into 1/4″-thick slices, set onto serving platter, cover with sauce, and serve.

 Cumin-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  1. Mince shallot and garlic. Chop 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro.
  2. Place a small skillet over medium burner, and heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until it begins to shimmer.
  3. Saute shallot for 2 minutes, then add in minced garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes and continue sauteing for 30 more seconds.
  4. Remove pan from heat and whisk in yogurt, water, lime juice, and another 1 tablespoon oil.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste.
  6. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve, but stir in cilantro just prior to serving.

Easier Fried Chicken

February 1, 2014

While my kids love fried chicken, I hate having to deal with the 5 cups of leftover oil. The 1-3/4 cups of oil used in this recipe is not enough to cook the chicken evenly, but it is enough to create a wonderfully crispy exterior.  Once the chicken is crispy, the chicken finishes cooking in a 400-degree oven. As an added benefit, while the chicken bakes a lot of the excess oil from frying drained away into the baking sheet. The results are crispy and less greasy than typical fried chicken. The only slight drawback is the coating on the bottom chicken becomes a little soggy as some of the chicken juices come out during baking. 4-stars.

Uses only 1-3/4 cups of oil

Uses only 1-3/4 cups of oil

If you have a splatter-screen, be sure to use it during frying. While the chicken is well seasoned, next time I will kick up the spices a little. I like it spicy.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $6 for 3-1/2 pounds.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 4:00 PM. Dinner time 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

3-1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
Table salt
dash hot sauce
3 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-3/4 cups vegetable oil

  1. Trim away any excess fat, and cut breasts in half so that they are roughly the same size as the rest of the chicken pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, add 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, dash of hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and pinch of cayenne. Whisk until combined, and add chicken. Turn until entirely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to brine in refrigerator for 1 hour (or up to overnight).
  3. Set a rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 400-degrees.
  4. In a medium bowl, add 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Whisk to combine. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and combine using your hands until you get small clumps.
  5. One piece at a time, dredge chicken in flour mix and press onto chicken so that you get a thick, even coating. Set chicken skin-side up on a large place and repeat dredging with remaining chicken.
  6. In an 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven, add 1-3/4 cups vegetable oil, set it over a medium-high burner and heat until the oil reaches 375-degrees. Place chicken in oil with the skin-side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until it becomes golden brown. Flip and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the second side becomes golden brown. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and put a wire on top.
  7. When chicken has browned, move to wire rack/baking sheet, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken reaches its final temperature; 160 for breasts, and 175-degrees for legs and thighs. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.

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