Monday, October 21, 2013

spicy fried chicken

I've always made fried chicken at home. I've breaded it, battered it, fried it with nothing but the skin and seasoning... and it always turns out yummy. A long, long, long, long, long, long time ago I promised that I would show you guys my spicy fried chicken recipe when I posted my Classic Fried Chicken, so here it is! In all it's glory!
This is a very different fried chicken recipe than the Classic on I posted; it's much tangier, and to be honest, it's a little moister. But it's also a little more labor intensive. But not too much. This chicken actually get marinaded before being breaded and fried. You can use whatever plain yogurt you have, but I go with Greek yogurt, especially because I had some in the fridge. Milk is added, along with the spices; cayenne pepper, Tabasco, black pepper, salt, onion powder and garlic powder... and a little bit of smoked paprika for extra color and flavor.
The combination of yogurt and Tabasco makes it smell kind of funny- yah know that yogurty and vinegary smell I'm talking about. Not bad, just funny.
To that mixture, we are going to add the chicken thighs. I really prefer chicken thighs when making fried chicken because the dark meat cooks up so nicely, and there is so much of that awesome skin, and to top it all off there's none of that "dropping the breasts first, then the thighs, then the legs, then the wings". Everyone goes in at once.
This is going to hang out in the fridge for a few hours- at least 4. Overnight would be better. But when you're ready to start frying, take 'em out of the fridge and prepare the breading!
Another big difference between the Classic and these guys, is that I use a combo of flour and breadcrumbs. It's just a little crustier, since the chicken is much more slick with the yogurt mix on there. I feel like the breadcrumb/ flour combo helps it stick better.
For ultimate crustification, really push those chicken thighs into the breading. Push it in there, flip it over, push it some more... push it real good. Sorry. I couldn't help myself.
Once all the little thighs are very coated, start the oil heating up. Over medium heat... if you have an oil thermometer, crank it to 350 degrees. The time it takes to heat the oil gives the chicken a change to really bind that breading.
In batches, fry the chicken in that hot oil. If you don't want to deep fry, you can pan fry as well. About an inch of oil in a cast iron skillet for 9 minutes on either side with cook it up perfectly. In my case, I used a quart of oil to deep fry the chicken for 18 minutes. So same cook time.
As soon as they come out of the oil, drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. These heat up so well in the oven the next day, too. It's even good cold. Not that I would know. It's not like I would eat a piece straight from the fridge in the middle of the night. No, I wouldn't do that.
Spicy Fried Chicken
1 6oz. container plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lbs chicken thighs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
Kosher salt

In a large bowl, combine together the first 8 ingredients. Mix in chicken thighs and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. In a shallow bowl, combine together flour, breadcrumbs and remaining spices. Liberally coat each thigh with breading and set aside. Bring oil up to 350 degrees over medium heat and fry thighs in batches. Drain on a paper towel and season with salt. Serve and enjoy!