Yesterday was another “National ___ Day.” It was National Fried Chicken Day and we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to get in on some fried chicken. This dish is the ultimate Salt-Fat-Acid-Heat quadrumvirate.
The fried chicken that we know today holds its origins in both Scottish and West African cooking. The Scottish had a method of breading and frying chicken pieces in fat, but it was slaves in the South who began adding spices to the breading to add a greater depth of flavor to the dish. It was a dish reserved for special occasions and, after the emancipation, gradually grew in popularity (or slowly “went viral” as we would say today) across the South and became a staple in our modern cuisine. You can read expanded history on the subject here.
This Garlic Fried Chicken recipe from Food & Wine Magazine was a unique one for sure. For starters you rub each of the pieces down with a sort-of-marinade of grapeseed oil, parsley, and garlic. They are then baked low and slow at 250° for an hour. This allows the pseudo-marinade to burrow into the chicken and not dry them out.
Once the chicken has cooked it is dredged in a typical flour, egg, breading mixture (more garlic and parsley added to the Panko, thank you very much). Each piece is then gently baptized in a bath of billowing Crisco until lovely and golden. The entire batch is dusted in a pinch of Maldon flaked sea salt and sprinkled with a fresh squeeze of lemon.
It may seem like a ton of garlic goes into this, but honestly as it bakes, the garlic mellows into a toasty sweetness that is neither too potent nor too powerful. You’ll get that great aromatic flavor without the bite you’d get while raw. The end result is crispy-crunchy-on-the-outside-juicy-on-the-inside pieces of perfectly fried chicken.
The Mr prefers white meat, but I’m a dark meat person myself. What’s your preference?