Everyone’s fried chicken is the best! Or everyone’s grandmother made the best fried chicken. I get it! Everyone has their own techniques, tricks, and superstitions when it comes to making their “famous fried chicken.” Well, my fried chicken is never the same. I do not prefer one technique over another. In other words, I am a fan of all styles. I don’t care if it’s buttermilk fried, Korean fried, or country fried – as long as it’s delicious and crave-able! Below is a recipe for damned good fried chicken. And at the end of the day, I really think that is paramount!
What makes this particular recipe great, besides tasting so good, is the fact that it is less greasy and can be prepared ahead of time. Importantly, Winston’s CVap® is the KEY to this. As a result, I reduced the fry time from 12 minutes down to about three minutes. Consequently, it was super moist, less greasy, and crave-able fried chicken. A quick tip: the less time the chicken is in the oil, the less oil the breading will absorb!
CVap Chicken Process
I wanted something with Asian flavors. So that’s where my approach came from. Let’s get into the details of the process!
- Salt – 1 tablespoon
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Water – 2 cups
- Lemongrass, chopped and pounded – 2 stalks
- Star anise, toasted – 4 each
- Soy sauce – ¼ cup
- Black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon
- Ginger, fresh – 1 small knob
- Lime juice – 1 tablespoon
Jalapeno, halved – 2 each
Place all the ingredients for the brine in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Next, cool to room temperature. Finally, strain and cool in the refrigerator until it goes below 40°F.
Heat the CVap Cook and Hold Oven to Vapor Temp 155°F / Air Temp 155°F, and a cook time of three hours.
When it comes to fried chicken, I prefer thighs and legs. I divided a dozen pieces of chicken into two oven-safe bags and split the brine between the bags. Importantly, when closing the bags, try and remove as much of the air as possible to ensure that the chicken is making contact with the brine. Once your CVap is to temp, load the chicken and press Start. Tip: For older chickens or larger cuts of chicken, increase the cooking time to four or five hours. This will help break down the connective tissues and make them much more tender.
As the chicken is cooking, prepare the breading. There is a wet and dry step. For the wet, I mixed equal parts buttermilk and coconut milk. As for the dry step, I used bread flour. It has a higher protein content. Higher protein makes for a better crunch!
- Buttermilk – 1 cup
- Coconut milk – 1 cup
- Bread flour – 1 ½ cup
- Onion powder – 2 teaspoons
- Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
When the chicken is close to being done, prepare the pot of oil. I recommend peanut oil because we will be frying 390°F to 400°F for this round. Certianly, peanut oil has a high smoke point. Tip: Cover your stove with foil to make cleanup much easier!
Once the chicken is done and the oil is heating, remove the chicken from the bags and pat it dry with paper towels. When oil comes to temp, turn down the heat to maintain that temperature and start the breading process. Dip the chicken in the wet mixture first and move to the flour mixture and back to the wet and back to the flour. That’s how you get EXTRA CRISPY. If you do not want extra crispy just go through the process once. Notably, you will want to do about four pieces at one time as to not overload the oil. You don’t want the chicken to sit breaded, as it gets gummy.
Carefully drop the chicken into the oil. Once it is in, increase the heat on the oil to bring the temperature back to 390°F – 400°F. Since the chicken is already cooked, you only need to brown the breading! About three minutes in the oil will do. When you have reached your desired color, remove the fried chicken from the oil and let it rest on a rack. Finally, season with a little salt.
If you don’t want to fry all the cooked chicken, you do not have to. Leave it in the bag and refrigerate. Later you can fry the chicken from cold. You will need to heat the oil to about 330°F – 340°F, but the rest of the process is the same. The cooking process will take longer, about eight minutes, but hey it’s still packed with all that flavor and the chicken is already cooked!
I topped mine with a mixture of sesame, scallions, soy, chili paste, lime and fresh ginger.