Though I absolutely adore fried chicken, I was always wary about making it at home. I envisioned a messy, splattered kitchen, plus hours over a deep fryer and iffy results.
And then I came across this recipe that stopped me in my tracks and made me take the leap.
This is game-changer fried chicken, I tell you.
First, no thermometer or deep fryer. You heat up the oil in a standard large pot or Dutch oven, and use rosemary sprigs — not a thermometer — to tell you when the oil is ready.
Nifty trick, right?
Second, the chicken starts out on the stovetop, to get that lovely golden crust, but finishes in the oven. So there’s less mess, less chance of burning that beautiful skin, and you can get to your sides (and do a little clean up) while the chicken is baking.
And the results are anything but iffy. The tangy buttermilk, mild heat from the paprika and lots of fresh rosemary create a flavorful coating that cooks up golden brown and crispy.
Make this for your next tailgate, and stand back and wait for the cheers!
Rosemary Fried Chicken
adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food
3-4 lbs. of chicken parts (I used one package each of drumsticks and split breasts — you can use whatever your family likes. If you do use breasts cut them in half so they are closer in size to the rest of the pieces — this ensures that everything cooks evenly.)
2 c. buttermilk
kosher salt and pepper
3 c. flour
2 T. paprika
1 T. chopped rosemary + 4 sprigs
2 c. vegetable oil
In a large bowl combine chicken pieces and buttermilk with 1 t. salt and some ground pepper. Refrigerate for several hours or up to two days.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Line two baking sheets with foil. Place a cooling rack on one of the sheets and put aside.
In another large bowl whisk the flour, paprika and chopped rosemary, 1 T. salt and 2 t. pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and place on the foil-lined sheet. Dredge all the pieces a second time and return to the same sheet.
In a large skillet, pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and rosemary sprigs over medium high heat until the rosemary sizzles rapidly — discard the sprigs. Fry the chicken in 2-3 batches till golden brown, turning once. Transfer the finished pieces to the rack-lined sheet (you may need to use more than one rack/sheet depending on how much chicken you’re making).
Bake chicken till cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes before serving, or serve at room temperature.