Thursday, July 17, 2014

Buttermilk-brined Chicken, Pan-Fried

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

It was a stormy day.

High winds wooft out the gas grill while it was preheating.

Not a great start.

Put the chicken thighs on the grill, and just my luck  - I set the cover down on an old, well-seasoned potholder – you may know the like – the one that was in your Christmas stocking year ago, and you kept out of emotional attachment though it’s threadbare.

It lit up like a match.

I snagged it with the tongs and shook it  – which made the flames worse.

Panicked, I dropped it and stomped it.

The fire kept re-igniting.

I looked left and right, saw a bucket of rain-covered ashes from the charcoal grill, and sank it in to snuff it out.

I took a moment there to make sure it was dead.

“Oh, damn, the chicken!”

And there may have been some “girly” screaming the whole time, but I won’t admit to it.

Thank goodness, thighs are forgiving.

In spite of momentary neglect, they came out buttermilk tangy, moist and juicy, with an upfront toasty, roasted flavor and cracker-crisp skin.  Enjoy!

Bone-side of Chicken Thighs, not As Pretty
 Buttermilk-brined Chicken

Serves 6-8


2 TB Kosher Salt
2 TB Honey
1 tsp. Black Pepper
2 TB Garlic Powder
1 TB Onion Powder
(I used ½ Cup Ramp Pesto for the garlic and onion)

Stir together with a whisk until smooth, and add:

5 lbs. of Chicken Thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
2 Cups Buttermilk

Turn to coat the chicken and cover.

Refrigerate 48 hours, turning every 12 hours.

Dry Mix:

1 cup Flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten-Free)
1 cup Instant “Potato Buds”
2 TB Black Flake Pepper

Roll each piece of chicken in dry mix to coat.
Prior to Grilling
Place on a plate, covered, for 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat one side of a gas grill on low setting with a skillet or griddle inside.

Add enough peanut oil to coat the surface and place chicken on, skin side up.

Bake with the cover down for 10-12 minutes, until the underside of the thigh is crispy.

Use a spatula and tongs to rotate pieces from hot spots to avoid burning.

Flip chicken over- bake another 10-12 minutes - until skin side browns.

Move pan to the “off” side of the grill.

Continue to cook (cover down) until juices run clear (170f internal). About 20 -30 more minutes.

Always use a meat thermometer!
Cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes on the counter before serving.

Tip: I used a grill, but chicken can be browned on the stove, and baked in a 300f oven for 20-40 minutes (depending on how cold and how large the pieces are to start with).