Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Bon Appetit Magazine "The Only Fried Chicken Recipe You'll Ever Need" Recipe

I had an opportunity to test this recipe out tonight. Here is the link to the recipe:

http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2012/02/best-fried-chicken-recipe.html

And here is a photo of the results:


I was intrigued by the call for paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and a lot of salt and black pepper. As you can see from the recipe it calls for a lot. My own feeling is that paprika adds color but no real flavor to speak of. Any aromatic oils still in the paprika after it has been in bottles are probably lost in the frying process. So, it adds color I guess. And has the potential to burn.

I was intrigued by the wet bath, which is a witches brew of water, buttermilk and egg. It is mixed separately and the chicken does not sit in this bath for a long period of time. You see, for me, it is alll about the viscosity. Which is why you see buttermilk showing up in so many recipes across the internetz. But here we have a recipe that dilutes that with water?

So according to the recipe, you allow the spices to permeate through the chicken overnight. Now that is a good thing.

Then you dip in the wet bath and then into the seasoned flour and deep fry. Since the chicken doesn't stay in either the wet bath or breading for very long, you end up with a very thin crust. And the crust stays crispy only when the chicken comes fresh out of the fryer. After a while it softens up considerably.

The one thing that I do like about this recipe is that the combination of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper results in a really flavorful chicken. The salt is way too much, though. Way. Too. Much. Decrease it by half. Trust me.

So, if I ever do this recipe again, What repairs would I do to it? I will halve the salt that the recipe calls for. I don't see that the egg or water contribute anything. Straight buttermilk would be my choice. Because of the way the chicken is seasoned, you're deviating too much from the recipe if you suggest soaking the chicken for several hours in the buttermilk as all that seasoning is going to go into the buttermilk over time. But I am sure this would result in a crunchier crust.

I am glad that I tried the recipe. But ultimately, this is not "the only fried chicken recipe that I will ever need".

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