Less than one mile from my apartment is a Popeye's Chicken establishment. In order to ensure that we live a somewhat long life, I have been pretty strict about how often we can visit this restaurant. I am proud to say that since we have discovered this location almost a year ago, we have only visited twice. And the chicken is good. Popeyes has discouraged me from attempting to make fried chicken at home. Why bother with all the grease, the heat, and the messy batter when you can get good fried chicken less than a mile from your home?
That is until I read a blog post by Momofuku For Two. The recipe looked relatively simple and her pictures just made me want to bite into that crunchy skin. A few weeks ago, I made this chicken and it was worth all of the grease, all of the heat, and all of the messy batter.
We put the brine in a gallon-size ziplock bag, placed it in a cooler, and put in ziplock bags full of ice in the cooler (our fridge is packed so there is no way we could fit a bowl of chicken and brine in there.) It brined for 10 hours and then I removed the chicken, dried each piece, and placed it into a baking sheet and covered it with paper towels. I let the chicken sit for two hours. This is such an important step and something I have learned about good frying. My mistake in the past has been frying food that just came out of the fridge. Naturally, the insides are too cold and therefore you will end up with burnt skin and bloody red, raw flesh. The meat needs to sit at room tempertature for awhile.
I set up my battering station, heated up 48 oz of canola oil (until you can sprinkle some flour in and see it fizzle), battered the chicken, and dropped the chicken in for about 13 mintues. Ok, I confess that I didn't technically fry the chicken. Marshall stepped in because 1) he is from the South and feels that he has the genes to properly fry food 2) he wants to do the fun part.
This fried chicken is worth the trouble. It was moist, the skin was crispy, it was simply delicious. The funny thing is, Marshall and I could only eat one or two pieces (instead of a lot more.) Our theory is that when you cook the food, the sensory exposure (sight, smell, feel) has been satisfied and therefore you don't need to eat as much. We are totally going to write a weight-loss book and make millions of dollars. I guess we should first prove this theory.