Recipe : Yardbird Fried Chicken from Chef Jeff McInnis

For the chicken brine:
Place the water (not the ice water), sugar, salt, and all spices in a pot and bring to simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Whisk to ensure that spices and sugar have dissolved completely. Remove from heat and combine with ice water to chill. Let chill until at least 40 degrees. Place the cut chicken in a container and pour the cold liquid brine over it. Chill in refrigerator for 24 hours.

For the seasoned flour:
Mix all spices and flour well.

For the frying:
Remove the chicken from the brine and dredge in the seasoned flour.

Place the shortening in a pan (cast iron preferred) and melt slowly. The goal is to have the shortening about 1/2 inch up the side of the pan. Heat the shortening over low heat until it reaches 325 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature.

Place the breasts and thighs in the pan, skin side down. After 8 minutes, flip the pieces over and continuing frying for another 6 minutes.

Remove from pan and let sit on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels. Stick the thickest pieces with a meat thermometer; the chicken must reach 165 degrees. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt.

Place the wings and drums in the oil making sure to maintain 325 degrees. After 5 minutes, flip the pieces and continuing frying for another 4 minutes.

Remove from pan and let sit on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels. Stick the thickest pieces with a meat thermometer; the chicken must reach 165 degrees. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit

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