OK, so maye I’m not a vegetarian deep down. I had been itching for some fried chicken. And hinting at the fact that maybe we REQUIRE a waffle maker in the house. When my upstairs neighbors/landlords (Jim and Abbe) mentioned they had a Belgian waffle maker, it seemed obvious that a fried chicken and waffles dinner was due. Since they have the machine, and I’m a good little southern girl, they’re making the waffles while I’m in charge of frying up the chicken.
First things first, marinating the chicken. I let the pieces spend the day soaking in a lovely buttermilk and hot sauce bath. You, know to relax them for their delicious journey through deep frying and into my mouth. For hot sauce, I buy Youk’s, which is made at Maverick restaurant in San Francisco. Coincidentally, I also use Maverick’s fried chicken recipe. Those punks know how it’s done. At least in my opinion.
When it was time to get to business I made the dredge. Lots and lots of spices go into this one. There’s even cinnamon. I think that’s just swell.
After I mixed the spices and flour, I tossed in the chickens.
Then the frying happened.
All the while Abbe was working that waffle maker with some cornmeal waffles.
I’ll be frank, it was kind of obscene. A drizzle of maple syrup and some greens later and we were staring down one gluttonous dinner.
I might feel a little dirty now. And I’m not even gonna mention the chocolate caramel tart that Abbe snuck in for dessert. But it was worth it. Sooooo worth it.
1 3 1/2-pound whole fryer, cut up into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 gallon peanut oil
8 ounces flour
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch white pepper
3 tablespoons kosher salt
- Place chicken in a large container and cover with buttermilk and hot sauce. Let stand for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Pour peanut oil into large stockpot. Do not fill more than halfway; the chickens will raise the level of your oil and could boil over. Bring oil temperature up to 310°, using a digital thermometer to monitor.
- In large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Piece by piece, pull the chicken out of the buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and dredge completely in flour. Pack flour on to the breasts lightly and repeat these steps for all.
- Place chicken, one piece at a time into the oil. The pieces should be completely submerged. Be careful not to crowd, and probably do one to two pieces at a time. Do not stir; let the oil do the work. If the oil temperature drops below 260°, give more heat. But the temperature should never exceed 320°.
The oil will start to slow down and the chicken pieces will float to the top. Using a strainer or tongs, pull out the chicken piece by piece. Test firmness. If the chicken gives a lot, put it back. If it doesn’t give at all, they’re done. Wings will take about 5 minutes; legs, breasts and thighs around 10-12 minutes. When cooked through, salt immediately. Put in a warm oven if you are doing batches, or let dry on cooling rack, towels or paper towels. Do not stack them.