My Version of Ad Hoc Fried Chicken

I don’t know why I didn’t make fried chicken for the first 40 some odd years of my life. Now it’s something I have to force myself not to make very often because I am over 40 now and do not want to get fat and die. LOL!

I probably bust it out every couple of months and it is so damn good every time. I’ve served it with slaw, with salad, with whatever I have that’s got some acid in it to offset the fried aspect.

The recipe came from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc cookbook but I don’t totally follow it (no surprise).

For the Coating

6 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon cayenne

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 quart buttermilk

I use one 3-4 lb chicken. I don’t brine it because I’m lazy and don’t plan ahead.

I cut the chicken into pieces: 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, I cut the wings into 2 edible pieces and ditch the little meatless twiggy bit, I cut the breasts in half so they’re each about the size of a thigh or they never cook through.

I put the chicken on a plate with a paper towel on the bottom and generously salt the chicken top and bottom. Then I cover it and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before I’m going to fry it.

Two bowls of the flour mixture divided evenly, one bowl buttermilk.

I fry it in my big 6qt le creuset dutch oven thing. I use a combination of canola oil and duck fat and/or lard. Whatever I’ve got on hand. Don’t fill the pot more than 1/3 way up or so because it bubbles way up when you add the chicken.

Pat chicken pieces dry as much as possible.

Dredge in the first flour bowl, then buttermilk, then the 2nd flour bowl.

Frying chicken

Increase oil temp to 340 degrees. Fry breasts and wings for 6-8 minutes or until they’re beautifully brown.

I grate lime zest on top and serve with a homemade sweet and sour dipping sauce from Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen.

The hardest part is controlling the oil temp and it’s super important so keep a close eye on it. Too hot and it will burn the coating before the chicken is cooked through, not hot enough and it will overcook the chicken before the coating browns.