Patience, Pickles, and Crispy Fried Chicken

This lesson’s dish is fried chicken and coleslaw with pickles. This recipe takes some patience: Though many people view fried chicken as a quick, easy dish, it can actually be quite time consuming. Keep in mind that the pickles should be prepared well before you wish to eat them, as pickles take two weeks to ferment. Additionally, the chicken takes three days to prepare.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Coleslaw

Ingredients
Yield: 4 portions

chicken
•1 ea chicken, broken down into 9 pieces
•2 qt water, half ice and half liquid
•2 oz salt
•2 oz brown sugar
•1 qt buttermilk
•2 C flour
•2 oz spice mix (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and dry mustard)
•oil, as needed

coleslaw
•12 oz cabbage, chiffonade
•2 oz carrots, julienne
•1 oz red onions, julienne
•3 oz mayonnaise
•1 oz sour cream
•1 t horseradish
•1 oz cider vinegar
•1 t Dijon mustard
•0.3 oz sugar
•0.3 t celery seed

pickles
•1 qt apple cider vinegar
•1 ea shallot
•1 t red pepper flake
•5 ea allspice
•10 ea black peppercorn
•4 oz sugar
•2 ea bay leaves
•4 spr thyme
•1 oz salt
•1 lb pickling cucumbers
•additional water to cover if needed

Cooking Method: Pickles
To begin this lesson’s pickles, start boiling water in a pot. Add apple cider vinegar, shallots, red pepper flakes, allspice, black peppercorn, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, and salt. This forms the brine.

While that comes to a boil, you can begin fabricating the cucumbers. You will need a heat-proof container to store them in. Lexan works well for this purpose, as does glass. Avoid plastic, which will melt. Cut the cucumbers according to your preference. Options include slices, wedges, and spears. Put them in your container.

Once the brine has come to a full boil, pour it over the cucumbers. Be careful; it will be very hot. (Cucumbers should reach 98 to 105 degrees to keep bacteria from growing.) Make sure all of the cucumbers are covered. Let this sit at room temperature for an hour, and then put it in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Cooking Method: Chicken
The first step is to brine the chicken. Begin heating water in a pot. Add brown sugar and an equal amount of salt. While you wait for that to heat, fabricate the chicken following the chef’s demonstration in the video lesson. Chicken shears are recommended. Be sure to wash your hands each time you handle the chicken.

As with the pickles, you will need a heat-proof container for the chicken. Put ice in the container. Once sugar and salt in the brine are dissolved, take it off the heat and pour it over the ice. Give the ice and brine a mix. Check the temperature; it should be cold. Place the chicken pieces in the container. Place that in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Once the chicken has brined for 24 hours, drain the brine. Replace the brine with buttermilk. Mix it with the chicken so that the buttermilk coats everything. Put the chicken back in the refrigerator for another 24 hours.

After that time has passed, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature. Heat up oil in a cast-iron skillet. The oil needs to reach 325 degrees.

Cooking Method: Coleslaw
To make the coleslaw, begin with the dressing. In a mixing bowl, mix mayonnaise, sour cream, celery seed, Dijon mustard, horseradish, sugar, and salt. Spread the dressing onto the side of the bowl. Next, add the cabbage, julienned carrots, and julienned onions. Mix all of this together well, massaging the dressing into the cabbage. Let this sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Cooking Method: Chicken, Part 2
For the next phase of cooking the chicken, prepare a large container with flour in it. Season the flour with black pepper, salt, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices if desired.

Once the flour is ready, prepare a sheet tray to help with any spilled flour, and then put the seasoned-flour pan on top of that. Prepare tweezers or a pair of tongs to handle the chicken. Place the chicken in the pan with the seasoned flour and toss to coat evenly.

Once the oil has reached 325 degrees, place the chicken in it. Leave the burner at the same intensity. The chicken needs to reach 165 degrees internally, which will take roughly 45 minutes. Move the chicken around from time to time as it cooks. If the chicken becomes too dark while it’s cooking but has not reached 165 degrees, you can finish the chicken in the oven.

Plating
When the chicken is ready, you can strain the oil and use the leftover fond to make gravy, if desired.

Begin the plating process with the coleslaw. Mix it and taste it, adjusting the seasoning if desired. Once it is ready, plate the slaw. It can go directly on the plate or in a ramekin. After that, plate the pickles and then the chicken beside the coleslaw to complete the meal.