Shake & Bake Hop Fried Chicken

Written by Sean Z. Paxton at thebrewingnetwork.com

 

Oh yeah! The classic buttermilk fried chicken gone to the hopheads! By making a green buttermilk full of goodness, the chicken is also seasoned and begging for a beer, as both hops and malt are used in this recipe.

Makes: 1 chicken, 8 piece

Ingredients:

1 free range organic chicken, washed, dried
1 quart buttermilk
1 bunch fresh thyme , washed, dried and chopped
1 bunch Italian leaf parsley, washed, dried and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
4 tablespoons Amarillo hop powder*

2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
1 cup malt flour (favorite brewers malt ground fine into a powder)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons Amarillo hop powder*

6-10 cups vegetable shortening or lard

Directions:

Remove the chicken from the bag and rinse the bird under cold water, removing the special sack. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Let rest.

In the pitcher of a blender, add the buttermilk, thyme, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and hop powder. Turn on high and puree until the mixture is smooth.

Take the chicken and place on a cutting board. Butcher the chicken into 8 pieces, traditional (2-leg, 2-thigh, 2-breast, 2-wings) or un-conventionally (cleavertized). Place into a container, large enough to hold all the pieces and pour the buttermilk mixture over the top.

Cover and refrigerate for 12-48 hours. This will give the buttermilk time to tenderize the meat and infuse the flavors.

When you can’t wait anymore, drain the herbed buttermilk from the chicken by using a colander. In a sealable plastic bag, add flour, malt flour, salt and hop powder; seal and mix well.

Place a large cast iron pan (dutch oven) over a medium heat burner. Add shortening, oil or lard and heat to 325°. This temperature will prevent the chicken coating from burning and the inside from bring raw… Take a piece of chicken, one at a time, add to the flour bag, seal and shake baby! Using tongs, remove the chicken piece and shake off any extra flower (it will burn in the oil) and place in the oil.

The oil level should come up about ½ to ¾ of the way up the sides. Fry the chicken on each side for about 12-15 minutes. The crust on the outside will be a nice golden brown. Try not to move the chicken very much during cooking, as it will break apart the crust, making a more oily fried chicken and cause the crust to fall off.

Once cooked, remove from the oil, letting drain for a few moments and place onto a rack placed over a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Let cool and then EAT!

* Hop powder is made by taking dried hop cones and pulsing in a clean coffee grinder until a fine powder is formed.

Variations:

Instead of just Amarillo hops, try a variety, like you would for an IPA or DIPA. Think about citrusy hops, spicy hops, dang hops; it’s all about personal taste. And you are the chef!