Julia's Simply Southern: Sweet Tea Fried Chicken >

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken


It's no secret that a brine for poultry adds flavor and keeps the meat moist. Why not use the house wine of the South? Most brine recipes are a combination of salt and sweet. Sweet Tea Brine is perfect and makes for a delicious fried chicken.

I must admit that I don't often fry a whole chicken, opting for the much easier boneless chicken breasts, such as in my Fried Herb Chicken Breasts. When I do though, it's oh so good! 

Brine:
Lipton Cold Brew family size tea bags
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c Kosher Salt
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 gallon Water

In a gallon size pitcher add 2 " of hot water from the faucet. Add the sugar and kosher salt and stir until dissolved. Fill the pitcher the remainder to equal a gallon with cold water. Add the tea bags, thyme, and pepper. Allow to steep 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and stir the brine mixture to ensure everything is combined.


Chicken:
1 Whole Chicken Cut Up, 8 pieces

Add chicken pieces to a large bowl. Pour brine over chicken, cover and refrigerate over night. When ready to prepare the fried chicken, remove the chicken from brine and place on a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain excess liquid. Use paper towels to dry moisture from the top of chicken. Discard the brine. 


Flour Mixture:
3 c Flour, all purpose
1 tbs Salt
1/2 tbs Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Paprika


Combine flour and all seasonings in a large mixing bowl and combine. 

Wet Mixture:
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Butermilk
3 tbs Water
2-3 dashes Hot Sauce, such as Texas Pete

In a bowl large mix egg, buttermilk, water and hot sauce together. 

Now let's put it all together. Take each piece of chicken and add to the flour mixture, coating well. Shake off excess flour mixture and add to the wet mixture. Return to the flour mixture and coat well. Sit each coated chicken piece on a baking rack and allow to come to sit 30 minutes to come to room temperature.


Oil for Frying, I used vegetable oil, peanut would work fine

Heat cooking oil, I used vegetable, to prepare for frying in a dutch oven or large cast iron skillet. I love using my Lodge Cast Iron Deep Skillet for frying chicken. When using cast iron you'll want to keep the heat on medium as the cast iron holds the heat well. The oil temperature should be between 350 - 375 degrees.


When the oil is ready for frying start with the dark meat pieces adding 1 at a time, as many pieces as will fit at a time leaving some room. Turn chicken every 3-5 minutes until golden brown and juices run clear. it will take about 10-15 minutes for each batch of chicken depending on the size of the pieces. When the chicken has cooked through, remove from oil and set upon a paper towel lines baking rack to remove excess oil and rest. 


Keep cooking through all chicken pieces and drain and rest until the batch is complete. Let the last batch rest 10 minutes before serving. 


You'll be rewarded with moist, flavorful fried chicken with a crunchy crust. 


Brine:
Lipton Cold Brew family size tea bags
1 1/2 c Sugar
1/4 c Kosher Salt
1 sprig Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 gallon Water

Chicken:
1 Whole Chicken Cut Up, 8 pieces

Flour Mixture:
3 c Flour, all purpose
1 tbs Salt
1/2 tbs Black Pepper
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Paprika

Wet Mixture:
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Butermilk
3 tbs Water
2-3 dashes Hot Sauce, such as Texas Pete

Oil for Frying

"Golden brown and blissfully crisp, fried chicken has a longstanding relationship with cast iron." - Taste of the South




Click Here to see it at Meal Plan Monday
Click Here to see it at Weekend Potluck

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