Fried Chicken Kit
Makes one gift of two quart jars — one for brining and one for coating
For the Brine Jar
1 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
12 bay leaves
1 head of garlic
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
About 1/2 ounce (1 large bunch) thyme sprigs
For the Coating Jar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
HOW TO PREPARE THE GIFT:
Combine all the ingredients for the Brine Jar in one jar. (For a nice layered look, start with the salt and sugar first.) Combine the Coating ingredients in a separate jar. (For a layered look, start with flour then carefully sprinkle each ingredients one by one along the perimeter of the jar.) Give with directions for frying chicken.
Directions to include with gift:
HOW TO MAKE FRIED CHICKEN
Makes 16 pieces fried chicken from 2 whole chickens
You will need:
1 gallon water
Two 2 1/2 pound chickens, each chicken cut up in 8 pieces
Ingredients from Brine Jar from gift (the one with herbs/lemon/garlic)
Ingredients from Coating Jar from gift (the one without herbs etc)
1 quart buttermilk
10 cups peanut oil
6-quart sauté pan for frying
For the brine:
1. Combine all the ingredients from Brine Jar in a large pot. Before you add water, take out the lemon and garlic and cut each in half, then put them back in. (Add a few more halved lemons if you have them.) Add 1 gallon water, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and COOL COMPLETELY before using.
2. Place the chickens in the cold brine. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours. (Don’t leave it longer or it will become too salty.) Remove the chicken from the brine and pat the chicken dry, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin.
3. Bring the peanut oil to 340°F in a 6-quart sauté pan.
4. Dump the ingredients from the Coating Jar in a bowl. Mix them together. Put the 1 quart buttermilk in a second container. Just before frying, dip each piece of chicken into the coating, tap off the excess, then dip into the buttermilk, then dip back into the coating. Place the chicken on a parchment-lined sheet tray.
5. Start with the dark meat (thighs and legs): When the oil has reached the proper temperature, carefully lower the pieces of dark meat into the oil. The temperature of the oil will decrease so you’ll need to adjust the heat as necessary to bring the oil back up to temperature. Fry the dark meat for about 13 minutes, to a deep golden brown, cooked throughout and very crisp. Remove the chicken to a tray lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
6. Next, carefully add the white meat (breasts and wings) to the oil and fry for 6 to 7 minutes until cooked.
7. Remove the fried chicken from the oil to the tray, sprinkle with salt and turn off the heat under the oil. Let chicken rest for a few minutes to cool slightly.