I don’t know of many people who don’t have a favorite food. By the same token, I don’t know of many people who have multiple favorite foods. For good or bad, sometimes I think it’s a mixed blessing, yours truly falls into the latter category. I get great satisfaction in savoring anything that’s done well but there are a few foods that hold court at the very top of my culinary love layer and chicken is unquestionably among them.
Oven-Fried Buttermilk Chicken
We’ve featured quite a few chicken recipes, here on Platter Talk. I hope that those of you reading this also enjoy tasty chicken dishes because it’s a pretty safe bet that there will be many more to follow on this site. It sounds crazy but when it comes to food, I’m all about good tasting chicken.
Thinking back, way back, chicken is probably my earliest memory of food. Growing up on our farm in northern New York state, we raised our own hens and roosters and to the best of my knowledge just about all of them eventually ended up in my mom’s cast iron skillet. Most Sundays after church found her standing over her kitchen stove, dredging pieces of plump fresh chicken in flour and salt and pepper, frying them up to serve the family and any guests that may have blessed us by their company.
I still remember my favorite restaurant as a young boy, in Sarasota where my folks wintered. Bemints was located on the south Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. I never called it by its proper name but instead referred to it as “The Chicken House.” I recall bins of mouthwatering, perfectly fried chicken there, along with a huge rotating rooster outside which stood some 20 feet in the air. The sign came to symbolize The Chicken House for me and along with it, succulent chicken that to a small boy was prepared to the highest order.
This recipe is fun to make, although my passion for chicken in general lends a pretty substantial bias. As with many recipes for chicken, this one is marinated in buttermilk which helps to tenderize the meat fibers due to its mild acidity. With endless formulas for chicken marinade, plain old buttermilk is perhaps the simplest and arguably the standard for frying chicken.
This chicken starts out in hot oil and ends up in a hot oven where the excess fat drips into a pan while the dry heat of the oven evenly finishes each piece into a crispy but moist little bite of poultry heaven. Our boys loved this meal but let’s be clear, no one at the table enjoyed it any more than me. I wish you could sit down with us so I could make this meal for you. I think you would love it. -Dan
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Oven-fried Buttermilk Chicken
- 1 chickens cut in 8 serving pieces
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko style breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons white pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 quart vegetable oil
Thoroughly wash and rinse chicken pieces, then place in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, and white pepper in a large bowl.
Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Use hands to firmly pack coating to each piece.
Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed pan to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F.
Working in batches, place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven).
Don't crowd the pieces.
Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch.
When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.