Thursday, December 4, 2014

Extra hot chicken


For a long time I had avoided deep fried foods, much for the same unguided reason I avoided the fat in food, I was brainwashed to believe fat in means fat on, not the reality that it’s just a source of calories no different from the other calories going in, maybe a bit more dense in calories and possibly not as nutritional. I also had the impression that fried food equal greasy fatty food, this maybe true for things such as french fries which can be a whopping 50% fat by weight and food cooked incorrectly, but not at all the case for foods cooked at the correct temperature. The other main reason for the avoidance, or at least at home, has always been the smell, but get a thermometer, a heavy based pan, don’t overcrowd it, and that shouldn’t be a problem either, heck even the crappy domestic extraction system should be enough to deal with it.

So, deep fried chicken, getting thoughts of poorly cooked greasy fast food? Well, don’t, think crisp, crunchy, steaming hot, not at all greasy, fiery hot spicy goodness that will leave you red in the face and dripping with sweat.

3 Chicken legs, portioned to thigh and drum
Canola oil


Brine
All percentages are by weight (eg. 1000 ml water, 50 grams salt)
Water
5% Salt
2.5% Cayenne powder
1.5% Garlic powder
1.5% Onion powder
2.5% Chilli flakes
0.5% Hot sauce
0.5% Morita Chilli

Heat the water in a pan and dissolve the salt, add all the other ingredients and cover, let it cool to room temperature. Place a large zip lock bag in a bowl and add the chicken, pour in the brine and remove as much air as possible while sealing the bag. Place in the fridge for 12–24 hours.


Dredge
Flour
Salt
Cayenne Pepper*
Chilli Flakes*
*The more you add the hotter it’ll be, so add heaps!

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry, toss in the dredge, shake off excess flour and place on a tray with a rack on it. Refrigerate for an hour, uncovered. Do not dispose of the remaining dredge yet.

Egg Wash
1 part Egg
2 parts Water
Salt


Cooking
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Heat several inches of oil in a heavy based cast iron pot to 190ºC.
  • Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash, shake off any excess, toss in the dredge again, and shake off any excess flour.
  • Cook the chicken in batches, carefully laying the chicken away from you in the oil, cook until the internal temp reaches 65-70ºC (depending on how paranoid you are, the temp will rise at least 5ºC while resting).
  • Remove the pieces to a rack, not paper towels, to drain and rest while you cook the remaining chicken.

Serve with some sour pickles and lashings of hot sauce (if you can take the heat).

Bonus, oven baked extra hot wings


Brine
Water
5% salt
Chilli flakes*
Cayenne pepper*
*As much as you can handle, more the better I say.

As above, place wings in cooled brine in zip lock bag and refrigerate for 12–24 hours.

Dredge
2 parts flour
1 part fine semolina
smoked paprika
cayenne

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. 
  • Shake excess brine off the chicken and place in the bowl. 
  • Cover tightly with a couple layers of cling film and shake (you could do this in a bag), make sure the chicken is evenly coated. 
  • Place chicken on a rack set over a sheet pan and refrigerate uncovered for at least an hour. 
  • Use a spritzer to coat the chicken in a fine film of olive oil, or gentle toss the chicken in a bowl with a little oil (take care not to dislodge too much coating). 
  • Use a sieve with some fine semolina to put a light coating on both sides of the chicken. 
  • Cook in a preheated 230ºC oven for 40–60 minutes, turning every 20 minutes. 
  • Add lashings of habanero hot sauce and devour.

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