If God Cooked, Then He Would Perfect Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

 

First times are always momentous. Kisses, dances, jobs and funerals are all key to the human experience. Fried chicken, however, may trump them all. Now I am not talking KFC, but rather “gourmet, home-cooked, get your game on” fried chicken that you make because you have a hankering for creating art. Basically, I wanted to play in the kitchen and had never tried doing fried chicken before. The experience was revelatory; the chicken was so unlike anything else I had ever done that I am still confused by the outcome.

I decided to try out a recipe in a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that I picked up at a used book store last week. A recipe for me is: look at the recipe once, figure out the basic suggestions and then run like a young boy in the fields with it. My version went something like:

1 litre of buttermilk [shove the fresh cut chicken in there and the fridge for 4 hours], 1 cup of flour, 3 tsp of baking powered a few standard spices, a litre of corn oil and away we go.

Simple. Primal. Unheard of in your common Canadian kitchen. My only regrets  are that I did not figure out my perfect seasoning combination [needed more salt or something like that] and I might want to change how I cut up the pieces for frying. I went with a standard cut, but the core body was too big [you cannot fry a whole breast]. This feels like a recipe that I will spend the year perfecting, because I would love to share it with family and friends for years to come. Yes, you use a whole litre of oil and of buttermilk, but the use is worthwhile. Now I just need a picnic basket, my forthcoming Base Camp X axe, and I am off to Grandma’s house.

 

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