Gus's Fried Chicken Recipe - The Best Duplication So Far of the Gus's Recipe




I came as close as I have gotten to duplicating the Gus's Fried Chicken recipe. Here follows the latest, updated recipe:

Gus’s Fried Chicken
#1 2020 (Your Baseline Recipe Before You Start Modifying It For Your Personal Tastes)
 24 hour marinade of the following slurry of water, cornstarch and spices. This long period in the fridge tenderizes the chicken breast(s). . Begin the day before you plan to fry the chicken.
(Increase these quantities, depending on how much chicken you plan to make)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into three pieces (or, your standard bone-in chicken pieces like Gus’s does. I went with boneless chicken breasts for this recipe because they are a challenge and I thought this would be a good recipe starting point)
1 cup corn starch
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup water (note: 1 ½ cups is too much. On my first go, I  actually ended up with 1 ¼ cup water and poured off a little water in the morning that had gathered on top of the marinade and that is how I came up with the 1 cup measurement).

Marinade for 24 hours In the refrigerator, keeping everything refrigerated to protect against bacterial growth. Remove the chicken from the marinade/batter and if everything goes well, the batter/slurry will cling to the pieces. You may need to agitate the batter/slurry to assure that it coats the chicken pieces.

Fry at 325-350 F. Use a neutral vegetable or corn oil. I’ve become a big fan of sunflower oil as it has a high smoke point, but, yeah, vegetable, corn, peanut oils are fine if that is what you have.  I do not recommend canola oil as it smells like frying fish and adds an unpleasant fish taste to fried foods.

Note, when the exterior crust looks perfect, the interior may still be uncooked. Especially if you are doing a variation with other chicken pieces or really large chicken breasts. It is the curse of these huge chickens that they sell now. If you decided to go with a whole chicken, do your best to buy a 2.5-3 lb chicken as this will allow the interior to cook

If it isn't spicy enough, "salt" with Tony Chachere creole seasoning. Next time you make it, increase the amount of cayenne, and/or, add chopped whole serrano chiles or habanero chiles to the marinade.





The long marinade has the effect of making the chicken very moist; even the chicken breasts. Though, as we all know from Kenji Lopez-Alt's articles for Serious Eats, "brining" or long marinades will change the texture of the chicken meat, making it more homogeneous (what Mike Logan, a friend of mine, calls "hammy" in reference to the texture of smoked hams).

I still finish the chicken in the oven to assure that it is cooked throughout.

Temptation may be to make a thicker batter. But I think that for the crispiest crust, a thinner batter is the way to go. Just enough so that it clings.

I used to remove my chicken pieces from the marinade batter with tongs. But I found that this scraped away some of the batter. Now, I just spear the pieces with a fork and drop them into the hot oil.

You can test the quality of your batter by pouring some into the hot oil and frying it up crisp. Taste it and adjust seasonings. If it is too spongy tasting instead of crisp tasting, it may have been too thick and will need to be thinned slightly. 

If you've ever had really good Korean fried chicken, that is similar to the Gus's recipe.

A local Korean chicken place (Toreore) uses this brand of extra crispy batter mix for theirs. You may wish to find it online and buy some to try: Shirakiku brand Extra Crispy Tempura Batter Mix.




Here follow my previous notes, comments and riffs as I continued to work on a Gus's Fried Chicken recipe over the past several years.

(Special Note to My Readers: Also, be sure to check out my other Gus's Fried Chicken postings as these have additional information on spices for this recipe) (Update August 2017: Be sure to see my more recent posts on the recipe and photos from my August 2017 visit)


Today, I came as close as I have gotten to figuring out the Gus's Fried Chicken recipe.

I started this blog back in March of 2013.

It is not the Saveur Magazine recipe and it is not the Nora Jones recipe (the two most common recipes that show up when one does a search on the Internet).

The secret is that it is a slurry. You may want to think of it as a batter, but I think slurry is almost a better description since the cornstarch doesn't really fully blend in with the buttermilk (you need to keep stirring as it does separate out if left sitting). You have to mix corn starch and buttermilk to the right consistency, and then add just the right amount of paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, etc. followed by just enough Louisiana hot sauce to make it work. Too much hot sauce will affect the crispness. It needs to be a slightly thicker batter ( I would describe it as crepe batter consistency, or, a slightly thinner pancake batter). (Although: I also want to try a straight hot sauce and cornstarch experiment, an icewater and cornstarch experiment, and also a whole milk and cornstarch experiment in the future).

I switched to Canola oil for a while ("Canadian oil low acid"), ignoring my personal opinion that Canola oil gives food a fishy smell and taste. But I am back to recommending Crisco oil or peanut oil as my personal preferences. I just don't like Canola oil.
So, here is what needs to come together for this to work.

The important thing is:
Buttermilk - 1 1/4 cups buttermilk to....
Cornstarch - 1 cup corn starch to make the basic slurry
(experiment with reducing the amount of buttermilk to corn starch to make a thicker slurry)
(note: I've tried a water and corn starch slurry but wasn't pleased with the results. I haven't tried a water and egg with corn starch slurry though…the egg would add viscosity)

Update August 2017: It appears that a critical component is a 24 hour soaking in the slurry.

And then you will want to season to taste (I have specifically not given guidelines here as I want you to do your own homework; use your best judgement. Everyone's taste buds are different)

Paprika (this will help darken the chicken, giving it some color; I will usually do 1/4 tsp)
Cayenne (this will add heat; I will usually do a 1/2 tsp)
Black pepper (this will add heat; I will usually do a 1/2 tsp)
White pepper (this will add heat; I will usually do a 1/2 tsp)
Garlic powder (personally I just use a pinch because, for me, garlic powder adds an aftertaste to the chicken; but that is just a personal bias)
Salt (go easy on the salt; you can always add salt at the table)
Louisiana hot sauce (start off with 8 dashes per above buttermilk/cornstarch slurry)
MSG (most commercial chicken has some MSG in it; start off with 1/4 tsp and adjust to your preference with the next batch that you make)







Links to new Fried Chicken postings on the web:

Best Fried Chicken - Insider and Yelp

Their 2016 Recommendations




Church Picnic Calendar - 2020

2020



















2020 (Updated 03/12/20 by PolkaBeat Magazine)

April

26            St. Mary’s Catholic Church
               10471 Grotto Rd.
               Frydek, TX 77474
               (979) 885-3131
Texas Sound Check, 4-8P

26            St. Michael’s Catholic Church
               Spring Festival @ Veterans Park
               410 N. Center St. (church address)
               Weimar, TX 78962
               (979) 725-6714
Polka Mass @ church w/Lost Cause
Music @ Veterans Park
w/Czechaholics & Black Cat Choir,
11A-8:30P
              

       

May

02              Christ Lutheran Church
                 German Sausage Dinner                
                 35912 Royal Rd.
                 Pattison, TX 77423
                 (281) 934-8218
Al Sulak/Country Sounds, 11A-2P
                 


03             Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic
Church
(Hostyn)
                936 FM 2436
                La Grange, TX 78945
                (979) 247-4441
Texas Sound Check, 11A-3P
Czechaholics, 3:30-7:30P
                 

03              St. Anthony de Padua
                 1523 Main St.
                 Danbury, TX  77534-0299
                 (979) 922-1240

03             St. Rose of Lima
                3600 Brinkman
                Houston, TX
                (713) 692-9123

03 St. Mathias
302 S Magnolia Blvd
Magnolia, TX 77355
(281)356-2000
               

 

10             Christ Lutheran Church (Loebau)
                4654 CR 114  
                Lincoln, TX 78948
                (409) 884-0333
Lost Cause, 3-8P
               


15            St. John the Baptist
                209 E Bell St
                Fayetteville, TX 78940
                (979) 249-7449
               


17           St. John's Lutheran Church
               FM 60 & FM 111
               Deanville, TX
               (979) 535-4125
              

 

24            St. Joseph Catholic Church
               8282 FM 141
               Dime Box, TX 77853
               (979) 884-3100

24           Sacred Heart Catholic Church     
               400 E. Fifth St.
               Hallettsville, TX 77964
               (361) 798-5888
              

23/24      Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic
Church
  
               306 S. Avenue F
               Shiner, TX 77984-8208
               (361) 594-3836
               

24            St. Paul Lutheran Church (Serbin)
               1572 CR 211
               Giddings, Texas 78942
               979-366-9650

24            St. Joseph Catholic Church
(Stoneham)
               11323 CR 304
               Navasota, Texas 77868
               (936) 894-2223


June

07            Sacred Heart Catholic Church
                516 South Faires
                Flatonia, TX 78941
                (361) 865-3568

07             Holy Trinity Catholic Church
of Corn Hill

                8626 FM 1105
                Jarrell, TX 76537
                (512) 863-3020
                   

 

13/14       St. Mary's Catholic Church
                101 Church St
                Windthorst, TX 76389 (near Wichita
Falls)
                (940)423-6687

                                         

14          St Mary’s Catholic Church
               FM Rd 340 #1648
               Hallettsville, TX 77964
               (361) 798-2128
              

14            St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church
               1010 Lyons Ave.
               Schulenburg, TX 78956
               (979) 743-3117

              


20            St. Michael's Lutheran
               700 Frio St
               Winchester, TX 78945
               (979) 242-3444
                              

21            St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
(Ammannsville)
               7745 Mensik Rd.
               Schulenburg, TX 78956-5724
                

28            United Evangelical Church of Christ
               320 Silver Maple W
               Lyons, TX 77863
               (979) 596-1456

28            Fayetteville Brethren Church
               1022 Kramr Rd
               Fayetteville, TX 78940
               979-220-1289

28 Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church
(Plum)          
               126 Plum Church Rd.
               La Grange, TX 78945
               (979) 247-4441

 28           Sts. Cyril/Methodius
               100 N. Brazos
               Granger, TX 76530
               (512) 859-2223               

                                             

July                                       

04             St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
(St. John’s)
                7026 FM 957
                Schulenburg, TX 78956
                (361) 798-5888
                Shiner Hobo Band, Red Ravens,
Dujka Brothers, Texas Dream

05            Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic
Church

                FM Road 1383
                Dubina, TX 78956
                (979) 725-8461

12           St. James Catholic Church
              417 N. College St.
              Gonzales, TX 78629-4111
              830-672-2945

19 Ascension of Our Lord Catholic
Church

              11134 FM 957
              Moravia, Texas 78956
              (361) 798-5888

21 St. Matthew Catholic Church
1608 Campbell Ave
Jourdanton, Texas 78026
(830) 769-3687


 

24-25    St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic
Church

             205 W. Pecan
             Lockhart, TX 78644
             (512) 398-4649
             

 

26          Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Church

              219 W. Magnolia St.
              Penelope, TX 76676
              (254) 533-2325
               

                              

August                                 

02             Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
                1031 Church Ln.
                Frelsburg, TX 78950
                (979) 732-3430
               

02             St. Anthony of Padua Catholic
Church

                1004 Magnusson
                Palacios, TX 77465
                (361) 972-2446  

02            St. Joseph Catholic Church          
                210 Schrimscher Street
                Yoakum, TX 77995
                (361) 293-3518

02            Immanuel Lutheran Church        
               310 Seguin Rd.
               La Vernia, TX 78121
               (830) 253-8121
               


09            St. Michael’s Catholic Church
                410 N. Center St.
                Weimar, TX 78962
                (979) 725-6714
                

09            St. Mary Church of the Assumption
                Church Address: 301 S. Harrison
                Picnic Address: 2547 Jerry Mashek
Drive
                West, TX 76691
                254-826-3705

 

15           Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
Mary Catholic Church
 (Praha)
               821 FM 1295
               Flatonia, TX 78941
               (361) 596-4674
               

 

16           St. Andrew Catholic Church        
(Hillje)
               270 St. Andrew St
               El Campo, TX 77437
               (979) 648-2864

16           St. Monica Catholic Church
               6 S Nolan Ave
               Cameron, TX 76520
               254-697-2107

 

23           Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic
Church
(Cistern)
               113 Manchester St.
               Flatonia, TX 78941
               (361) 865-3568

23           St. Mary Catholic Church  
               815 St. Mary's Church Rd.
               Ellinger, TX 78940
               (979) 378-2277

 

September                                      

06            Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Church
(High Hill)
                2833 FM 2672
                Schulenburg, TX 78956
                (979) 743-3117
               

06             St. John the Baptist Catholic
Church
        
                209 E. Bell St.
                Fayetteville, TX 78940
                (979) 378-2277

06             Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic
Church

                705 W. Broadway
                Cuero, TX 77954
                (361) 277-9062

06             Sacred Heart Catholic Church     
                400 E. Fifth St.
                Hallettsville, TX 77964
                (361) 798-5888

06             Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic
Church
  
                306 S. Avenue F
                Shiner, TX 77984-8208
                (361) 594-3836

06             St. Mary’s Catholic Church
                8227 County Road 205
                Plantersville, TX 77363
                (936) 894-2223

06              St. Stanislaus Homecoming Bazaar 
                 9175 FM 1371
                 Chappell Hill, TX 77426
                 (979) 836-3030

06              Sts. Cyril/Methodius Parish Bazaar
                 100 N. Brazos
                 Granger, TX 76530
                 (512) 859-2223

06             Holy Cross Lutheran Church 
                 600 FM 1482 Rd
                 Warda, TX 78960
                 (979) 242-3333

06 Holy Trinity Catholic Church
211 W Meyer St.
Falls City, TX 78113
(830) 254-3539

 

13             Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic
Church
(Marak) 
                 6633 FM 2269
                 Buckholts, TX 76518
                 254-697-4861

13             St. Mary's of the Assumption
                 301 E. Fourth St.
                 Taylor, TX 76574
                 (512) 352-2175

13              Vsetin Czech Moravian Brethren
Church
(Hallettsville)
                 6095 FM 2314
                 Vsetin,Texas
                 (361) 798-5722

13              Holy Cross Catholic Church
                 1214 Zorn Rd
                 Yorktown, TX 78164
                 (361) 564-2893

13              Holy Rosary Catholic Church 
                 1416 George St.
                 Rosenberg, TX 77471
                 (281) 342-3089

13 Sts. Cyril & Methodius
603 Parrott Ave.
Damon, TX 77430
(979) 742-3383


 

19-20        St. John Nepomucene
                 401 E. Lampasas St.
                 Ennis, TX 75119
                 972-875-2834

20           St. Joseph Catholic Church
                 601 N. Pecan St.
                 Moulton, Texas 77975
                 (361) 596-4674

20              Holy Trinity (Corn Hill)
                 8626 FM 1105
                 Jarrell, Texas 76537
                 (512) 863-3020

20             St. Wenceslaus (Holman)
                 FM Road 155
                 La Grange, Texas 78945
                 (979) 743-3117

27            St. Joseph
                FM 485, off Highway 53
                Cyclone, Texas 76519
                (254) 985-2280            

27            St. James Catholic Church            
                510 South Camp St. 
                Seguin, TX 78155
                (830) 379-1796

27           Immanuel Lutheran Church
               3801 Cunningham Rd.
               Killeen, TX 76542
               (254) 634-2772

26-27         St. Jerome
                 8825 Kempwood Dr.
                 Houston, TX 77080
                 (713) 468-9555


27            Immaculate Conception Church
               608 Fifth St
               Sealy, TX 77474
               (979) 885-3868

27           St. Mary’s Catholic Church
(String Prairie)
               405 St. Mary’s Road
               Rosanky, Texas 78953
               (830) 839-4580
               

27 St. Philip the Apostle Catholic
Church
     
               304 W. Church St.
               El Campo, TX 77437
               (979) 543-3770

October   

03            St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Pin Oak)
               732 FM 2104
               Smithville, Texas 78957
               (979) 542-0217
               

03           Queen of Angels
               4100 Hwy. 3
               Dickinson, Texas 77539
               (281) 337-2508
               

03 Trinity Lutheran
808 Louisiana Parkway
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
(361) 884-4041

                                        

04            Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic
Church
(Hostyn)
                936 FM 2436
                La Grange, TX 78945
                (979) 247-4441
                 

04            Holy Rosary Catholic Church
(Frenstat)
                8610 FM 2774
                Caldwell, TX 77836
                (979) 535-7704

04            St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Loire)
                3930 FM 536
                Pleasanton, TX 78064
                (830) 393-6021

04            St. Roch Catholic Church (Mentz)
                1600 Frelsburg Rd.
                Alleyton, TX 78935
                (979) 732-3460

04            Sacred Heart Catholic Church
                915 Runneburg Rd.
                Crosby, TX 77532
                (281) 328-4871

04            St. Ann Catholic Church
                14151 US Hwy. 87 W.
                La Vernia, TX 78121
                (830) 779-3131

04            Holy Cross Catholic Church
               2001 Katy Ave.
               Bay City, Texas 77414
               (979) 245-6379


04           St. Matthew the Evangelist
               9915 Hollister St
               Houston, TX 77040
               (713) 466-4030
                

04            St. John the Baptist
                101 Church
                Hungerford, TX 77448
                (979) 532-4747
               

04 Ascension Catholic Church
802 Pine St
Bastrop, TX 78602
(512) 321-3552


11            St. Anthony Catholic Church       
               1602 Bowie St.
               Columbus, TX 78934
               (979) 732-2562

11            Holy Cross
                839 Church Street
                East Bernard, Texas 77435
                (979) 335-7551

11             Our Lady of Victory
                1309 E Mesquite Lane
                Victoria, Texas 77901
                (361) 575-4741

11            Church of the Visitation (Westphalia)
                144 County Road 3000
                Lott, Texas 76656
                (254) 584-4983

11             St. Stanislaus
                 1511 Highway 90 South
                 Anderson, Texas 77830
                 (936) 873-2291

11              Peace Lutheran Church
                 941 W Bedford Euless Rd
                 Hurst, TX 76053
                 (817) 284-1677

11 Resurrection Episcopal Church
5909 Walzem Road
San Antonio, Texas 78218
(210) 655-5484
                 


17            Holy Comforter Lutheran Church
               1901 Woodland Hills Drive
               Kingwood, Texas 77339
               (281) 358-6500
               

17            St. Luke Catholic Church
               2807 Oakdale
               Temple, TX 76502
               (254) 773-1561
               

17 St. Thomas More
10205 FM 620 N
Austin, TX 78726
(512) 258-1161
 


18            Guardian Angel Catholic Church
                5610 Demel St
                Wallis, TX 77485
                (979) 478-6532

18            Holy Cross Lutheran Church
                605 Hwy. 77A S.
                Yoakum, TX 77995
                (361) 293-3033

18            St. Ambrose Catholic Church
                8602 Loop 570
                Wall, TX 76957
                (325) 651-7551

18             St. Paul Catholic Church
                204 Mills Street
                Smithville, Texas 78957
                (512) 237-3299

18             St. Mary's
                715 N Main St
                Bremond, Texas 76629
                (254) 746-7789


18             St. Katharine Drexel
                800 FM 1488 Road
                Hempstead, Texas 77445
                (979) 826-2275

18 St. Anne/St. Joseph
CR 622 (Eastgate Community)
Dayton, Texas 77535

                   

25           Sacred Heart Catholic Church     
               580 E. Pearl St.
               La Grange, TX 78945
               (979) 968-3430

25           St. Michael the Archangel Catholic
Church

               9214 Main St.
               Needville, TX 77461
               (979) 793-3787

25            St. Paul Lutheran Church
                201 Veterans Dr.
                Columbus, TX 78934
                (979) 732-2423

25             Sts. Peter & Paul
                936 S Front St
                Bellville, TX 77418
                (979) 865-0676

25 Our Savior Lutheran
5000 W. Tidwell Road
Houston, TX  77091 
(713) 290-9087

25 House of Prayer
14045 Space Center Blvd.
Houston, TX 77062
(281) 488-4439


November

08              Our Lady of Lourdes
                 105 N. William St.
                 Victoria, TX 77901
                 (361) 575-3813

08 St. Joseph
106 Lalla Rookh at FM 442
Boling, TX 77420
(979) 532-3593