Not long ago I was having dinner at Grange Restaurant in Sacramento, and ordered their special of homemade deep fried buttermilk chicken. The waitress explained that it was the chef’s old secret family recipe of some sort, and the chicken had been marinating in buttermilk for two days. I typically don’t do fried foods, at least I try to avoid it unless I am awake at 2 am and for obvious reasons, not of sound mind and craving Denny’s or some other crap place that’s open 24 hrs.
But I ordered the special at Grange, and it was nothing short of mouthwateringly AMAZING. I never set out to replicate it, however it did get me thinking that I’d at least like to try out making fried chicken (#14 on my list of things to do). It’s been kind of an aversion for me in the past because of the very few times I’ve done fried foods before– the smell, the smoke, the mental image of fat boiling oil, usually led me to wanting to vomit and not being able to eat the final product.
I figured, this time I’d do it right…. maybe even cook it outside so the smell could float off into the coast. But I couldn’t find the right kind of single burner cooktop range to get the job done and I figured if other people do this all the time in the kitchen, then I gotta do something right this time around to pull it off as well.
I found a great smelling & great tasting recipe using buttermilk, cayenne pepper, onion salt, garlic salt, parsley, etc. Marinated it with some chopped onions for a little under 2 days. A key note, which I didn’t consider really, is that oils have different tolerances to heat. Peanut Oil ( which is what I used) is the go-to for fried chicken. It has a high heat tolerance (and has no bad smells!) so the chicken can cook with out smoking.
I did everything to the directions, and the chicken DID turn out pretty good. The browning was a little uneven but I think I will try a few more times to get that part right. Some spots were more burnt and some spots seemed really flat (versus popcorn-looking like KFC) but I think I know why, so it will be easier to modify next time around. The skin, despite its unevenness was soooo YUMMY.
When all is said and done, I think I’d still want to do this outside cause I wound up setting off the smoke alarm twice- even though there wasn’t smoke, and my house is still slightly tinged with a oil smell…