Talking Food with Cory Bahr: Fried chicken with Tabasco honey housemade pickles
Hey y'all, I'm Chef Cory Bahr, and today we're talking fried chicken. Fried chicken is one of those things I have dreams of. My grandmother's fried chicken is literally my favorite meal I've ever had in my entire life. Cooking fried chicken on a massive scale for lots of people is not easy, but there's a few tricks and a great seasoning technique that we've developed that really works and I'm going to take you through that.
First up we have our chicken seasoning. This is the part that makes chicken delicious. We're going to start with some kosher salt. That pepper mix we made that we've gone over before. Garlic powder, onion powder, that smoked paprika we love to use and some cayenne pepper. This is going to be the base for all that deliciousness that we put into our fried chicken. Mix that up well, we have a chicken seasoning. Now time to move on to our chicken we're going to brine it but we're going to brine in a different way using a couple of familiar ingredients. But one thing you might not expect. What I like to do and the easiest way to brine a chicken can one-gallon Ziploc bag. Open that up and in the bag we're going to add hot sauce, full-fat buttermilk, don't get the low-fat stuff. Now for the ingredient you may not expect as a nice acidity, some nice dry white wine. Get all the air out of the Ziploc bag. We'll put this into the refrigerator for at least four hours to really pack that flavor into the fried chicken. This is the next part of our fried chicken. What I found is regular all-purpose flour and cornstarch work the best when we add anything like paprika or cayenne into it. It burns in the fryer and gives you a dark unappealing crust. So all we add is kosher salt. Just mix that up. Now it's time to bread our chicken. Our chicken's been brining for about six hours now. It's really soaked up a ton of flavor.
It's time to bread it up and there's a few tricks I'm going to show you about this. What I like to use is a half sheet pan with a rack. Get your bowls as close together as possible. One of my biggest tips though is one wet hand one dry hand. When you're reading your chicken you really want to pack press down and really get that breading onto your chicken. When what I look for are these bits right here that are kind of shaggy as I call them. They're just hanging on they're going to be the crispy crunchy, lots of surface areas deliciousness that you look for great fried chicken. So now that we got our chicken all dredged in our flour coating, the one way you get that restaurant quality crunch is let it rest. We're going to put this in the refrigerator and let all of that flour hydrate so it will stick well and you get that crispy crunchy exterior. So it's time to fry our chicken. We've got our pot here, really about a third full of oil 325 degrees is the perfect temperature to make sure chicken's golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through while not being burned. Another great tip is don't overcrowd your pot with chicken because you gotta give it space to move around and let that oil envelop it and fry that chicken to a golden brown crunch. Looks great!
We got some pieces coming out.
That looks awesome! As you can see if you get a close up here, this texture. That's what you're looking for all those little edges and ridges and whatever that's where you're going to get that crunch. My favorite part the drumstick. Bet you're wondering what we're going to do with that chicken seasoning we made earlier. This is the part where we apply the chicken seasoning to the outside. Always season your food straight out of the fryer. You can see now that that paprika is caramelized on the exterior of the chicken which is going to add a ton of flavor. Alright, so we've let our chicken rest for a couple of minutes. Just going to stack this up this kind of any way Get those good drumsticks in there. We're going to finish this chicken with two things I love pickles and Tabasco honey.
All right now that we got our Tabasco honey on there, some of our housemade pickles that cut through and there you have it. Fried chicken with Tabasco honey housemade pickles.