With one juicy mouthful of crispy, juicy, subtly spiced chicken, I forget all about my mental daily calorie tab. Succulent and crunchy at the same time fried chicken is a winning summer favorite. Making the chicken creates a mess, but it is well worth it to elicit smiles on my boy’s faces.
Usually fried chicken is made by soaking the chicken in buttermilk for a few hours to plump up the chicken pieces. Since my kitchen is kosher I needed to find an alternative so I tried soaking the chicken in unsweetened plain flavored soy milk. The results were great.
10 chicken thighs
10 chicken drumsticks
1 quart of plain unsweetened soy milk
3 cups flour
½ cup corn meal
2 tablespoons Sumac
2 tablespoons New Mexico Chili powder
2 tablespoons Curry powder
If you are using kosher chicken there is no need for salt or brining, if you are using regular chicken add 1-2 teaspoons salt to flour mix.
Place chicken thighs and drumsticks in a shallow baking dish and pour the soy milk over the chicken. Let the chicken soak for about four hours turning pieces a couple of times during this time.
Place flour, corn meal, and spices in a heavy duty plastic bag, like a zip-lock bag. Shake bag to distribute spices throughout flour. Spread a large piece of aluminum foil or paper bags cut flat, on your counter surface. Placing only three pieces at a time in bag of flour, and holding bag closed; shake it to coat chicken with flour. Carefully remove each coated piece and place gently on prepared covered counter top.
Pour oil into a large 12 inch or more deep sided pan. Oil should be about 1 inch deep. Heat oil until it is hot but not smoking. Test oil with a drumstick. When you insert drumstick it should bubble and fry, but not smoke and pop. When oil is ready, add some coated pieces of chicken to pan. Do not crowd pan; leave a little room around each piece. Fry on one side for about 7 to 8 minutes until deep golden and then turn chicken using a tong. When chicken is deep golden on both sides remove pieces from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Be sure to place pieces only single layer deep. Add next group if pieces to oil. The chicken pieces take approximately 15-20 minutes to fry, depending on how large they are. I prefer to use pieces from small chickens so they cook through during frying.
The pieces will hold in a 200º F oven if you are want to serve them shortly. Serve fried chicken hot, cold, or room temperature, its all good.
Just to let you know, if you fry breasts, cut them in half. In my experience, although your guests may eat three to four pieces each, no one wants to take a huge breast piece! They will fry better in a smaller size as well.