This fried chicken recipe comes from the cookbook, "Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet," by Top Chef host and food expert, Padma Lakshmi. She recreates this beloved Southern fried chicken by letting the meat soak in salted water and milk for added sweetness to the meat and using Rice Krispies and saltines for an extra layer of crunch.
Excerpted from "Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet: A World of Recipes by Every Day" by Padma Lakshmi. Copyright © 2021. Available from Hatchette Go, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Editor's Note: The recipe requires 8 hours of marinade time and 2 hours to allow the chicken to come to room temperature.
- 2 1/2 Cups buttermilk
- 5 Teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (breasts quartered)
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup Rice Krispies, or other puffed rice cereal, smashed coarsely
- 12 saltine crackers , crushed
- 1 Teaspoon dried mango powder (amchoor) or sumac
- 1 Teaspoon cayenne
- 2 Cups canola or peanut oil
- 2 eggs beaten in a shallow bowl
Step 1: Mix the 2 ½ cups buttermilk and 4 teaspoons of salt in a large bowl. Add the cut-up chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours. Remove from fridge, drain the buttermilk, and allow the chicken to come up to room temperature, about 90 minutes.
Step 2: Combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup Rice Krispies, crushed saltines, remaining teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon mango powder and 1 teaspoon cayenne in a bowl.
Step 3: Dredge each chicken piece in the flour mixture and then in the beaten egg. Now dredge each piece in the flour mixture again, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper, taking care to leave room between each piece. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy pan, heat the oil on medium-low heat. Fry chicken in the oil, for 6 to 9 minutes on each side (6 minutes for wings and drumsticks, 7 to 9 minutes for thighs and breasts). Do not let the oil get too hot, as the crust can darken before the meat inside is cooked thoroughly. Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160F. Don't crowd the pan; cook just enough pieces at a time so that each piece is bathed in oil. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot, with lots of napkins on standby!
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