Recipes 2009
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Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 4 Servings

Brining is a pretreatment in which meat is placed in flavored saltwater solution known as brine. This produces a moist and well-seasoned protein. Normally, meat loses about 30 percent of its weight during cooking, but if you brine it first, you can reduce the moisture loss by as little as 15 percent. Additionally, brining enhances juiciness and flavor. The muscle fibers absorb the flavored liquid during the brining process. I recommend brining in two plastic trash bags, one inside the other, to hold the chicken and brine when frying for a crowd. You may also wish to place the chicken in an ice chest or cooler covering with the brine. If using this method, chill the brine to approximately 40°F then add 5–6 ice packs to maintain temperature overnight. A ceramic bowl or gallon Ziploc® bags is perfect for one bird. Once the brine is added, seal the bag with a wire tie or zip lock and place in the bottom of a refrigerator, shaking the bag every few hours. Normally, chicken is brined for a minimum of 14 hours and a maximum of 24.

Ingredients for Brine:
1 chicken fryer, cut into 8 pieces
1 gallon cold water
½ cup kosher salt
            OR 1 cup table salt
¼ cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 tbsp dried basil
2 tsps dried sage
2 tbsps granulated garlic
2 tbsps granulated onion
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Method for Brine:
Begin brining 1 day prior to cooking. Use a fresh chicken or other bird, completely thawed. NOTE: Check label to ensure that bird has not been pre-injected with salt or other flavorings, otherwise it will be over-seasoned. Wash chicken pieces or other bird completely. Pour 1 gallon water into a large stockpot. Add all flavoring ingredients and, using a wire whisk, stir 3–5 minutes to dissolve flavors. Place chicken in ceramic bowl or plastic bags and top with brine mixture. Place in refrigerator or cooler and brine for 14–24 hours. NOTE: If desired, you may cut brine time in half by doubling all ingredients except water. When ready to cook, remove chicken from brine, rinse well under cold running water. Keep moist, bread and deep-fry according to the following directions.

Ingredients for Frying Chicken:
1 gallon vegetable oil for deep-frying
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
4 cups flour
2 tsps sugar
2 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper
2 tsps granulated garlic
2 tsps granulated onion
chopped fresh parsley (optional)
minced garlic (optional)

Method for Frying Chicken:
In a large Dutch oven or home-style deep-fryer such as a FryDaddy®, heat vegetable oil to 330°F according to manufacturer’s directions. In a large bowl, add eggs and milk, whisking to combine. Set eggwash aside. In a 10” X 12” aluminum pan, combine flour, sugar, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion, blending thoroughly. Bread chicken well in seasoned flour, a few pieces at a time, until all are breaded, shaking off excess. Working in batches, dip breaded chicken in eggwash, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Return all pieces back to the seasoned flour mixture, turning to coat well. Place chicken, a few pieces at a time, into hot oil and cook until golden brown, 18–20 minutes. Do not overcrowd. Internal temperature of cooked chicken pieces should reach 170°F–175°F. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Allow to rest 5–7 minutes prior to serving. Continue until all pieces are done. You may wish to sprinkle fried chicken with a small amount of fresh chopped parsley and minced garlic for extra flavor.  


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