Friday, 7 August 2009

Tyler's Ultimate Fried Chicken

The thing about Tyler is.. that his online recipes tend to be different than the ones in his books, even though they sport the same title. This week I made Tyler's Ultimate Fried Chicken from Tyler's Ultimate. I thought it was pretty good but did have some room for improvement. When I looked up the recipe online, I found one which read as vastly superior. I would make the online version next time. That being said, the book one was nice. I liked the idea of flavouring the oil with garlic and herbs. Nice!

Conversation with one sullen teenage girl at the dinner table -
Me: Is it better than KFC?
Her: I hate KFC.
Me: So, yes then.

*This was well liked by all, including said over-tired commuting teen. It was also good cold.. standing in front of the fridge in the morning eating it out of the tupperware container... not that I do that...

The Ultimate Fried Chicken
Tyler Florence, Tyler's Ultimate

I (3 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (I used a tray of thighs)
Juice of 2 lemons

1 gallon peanut oil, for deep frying
1/4 bunch of fresh thyme
3 big fresh rosemary sprigs
1/4 bunch fresh sage
2 fresh bay leaves
1/2 head garlic, smashed, husk still attached

2 cups all purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 large eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Put them in a large bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over them, turning the chicken so that the lemon gets all through it. Let it marinate while you heat the oil. (I let mine marinate for about an hour)

Pour the peanut oil into a large pasta pot. (I use a S/S wok) Add the herbs and garlic and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 350F on one of those clip-on deep fry thermometers. The herbs and garlic will perfume the oil with their flavour as the oil comes up to temperature.

Meanwhile, put the flour in a large, shallow platter and hit it with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Use your fingers to mix. Crack the eggs into a large, shallow bowl; add a drizzle of olive oil and a couple of tablespoons of water and whisk it all together with a fork.

When the oil reaches 350F, skim off the herbs and garlic with a slotted spoon; reserve. Roll the chicken pieces around in the seasoned flour until well coated. Shake off the excess, then dunk them into the egg wash. Carefully drop the chicken into the hot oil and cook for about 20 minutes, turning with tongs every now and then to keep the colour even. The chicken is done when the skin is crisp and golden brown and the chicken floats at the surface of the oil. Keep and eye on the temperature and adjust the heat to keep the temperature as even as possible.

When the chicken is done, take a big skimmer and remove all of it from the pot, shaking off as much oil as you can, and lay it on a tea towel or brown paper bag to soak up the oil. Sprinkle all over with more salt and a dusting of cracked black pepper. Scatter the reserved herbs and garlic over the top. Serve hot, with big lemon wedges.

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