I have only had a craving for Fried Chicken once over the past 10 years. My reaction: I immediately drove to KFC (coupon in hand) and spent $12 on a bucket of greasy, soggy-skinned chicken. If I could only have gotten the chicken when it was freshly cooked, and before they put it in their trademark bucket (aka chicken steamer). But life seldom works that way. Also, my cravings were certainly not for the legs and thighs I ended up with. It was the breasts that I really wanted, but ultimately I could not bring myself to spend the $18.
Just as certainly as KFC spells disappointment, Chris Kimball saves the day. This recipe is by far the crunchiest fried chicken I’ve eaten in my life. “Maybe even too crunchy”, say the boys. Plus Chris Kimball assures me that fried chicken made at home has much less fat than from KFC.
So for $6, I get the 12-pieces (all-white-meat) of the crunchiest chicken in the world, plus less guilt (i.e. fat). Note that the two hours prep time includes an hour of unattended brining. Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. [But on January 31, 2011: I made a few changes and you can see my improved, revised recipe here]
Issues and recommendations:
- The batter got too wet after I dusted a few pieces (after 4 pieces the batter didn’t stick anymore). I added more flour and was able to regain the proper consistency.
- The batter was a little plain for my own taste (but perfect for my two sons). I like a little more kick, so next time I’ll spice it up a little (while still maintaining a “kid-friendly” flavor). Note that Chris Kimball does have an “Extra-Spicy, Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken” on the “Cooks Country TV” website, but I know it’d be too spicy for my boys.
- Because the chicken is so crunchy, next time I’m going to go “skinless” to cut out some fat.
Rating: 5-star. The kids wouldn’t go any lower than 5-stars, even though it’s just fried chicken.
Cost: $6 for 12 pieces of fried chicken (about 5 pounds).
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess? Medium/High.
Start time 4:30 PM. Dinner time 6:30 PM.