PARTNER POST: Dive into the 120 days of summer with Santa Rita wines that pair perfectly with the foods of the season, straight off the grill.
In the heat of the summer, fry your buttermilk chicken outside and serve it up with a cool miso slaw.
Buttermilk fried chicken isn’t something I make very often at all, mostly because it’s a lot of work and a lot of oil. Then, someone recently suggested to me that deep frying is really outside work. I don’t know why this never crossed my mind before, but frying chicken outside just makes good sense. My dad deep fries a turkey every year for Thanksgiving, and I’ve mouth-breathed over that hot pot of peanut oil for easily the past ten years and never, not once, have I thought, “Hey, after this here turkey is finished, how about I sink a couple of buttermilk soaked chickens in this vat of boiling oil?”
Anyway, this past weekend I broke down a whole chicken and soaked it in some buttermilk with three teaspoons of Badia complete seasoning. The whole batch of chicken (eight pieces in total) marinated all day and overnight in the refrigerator, then half a day the next day, too. I felt like the buttermilk needed a lot of time to marry into the chicken and become one with it.
The next afternoon, I took my bathing beauties out of their buttermilk bath and seasoned them with more Badia Complete seasoning and freshly ground black pepper. Then, I tossed them in an egg wash with more buttermilk before dredging the pieces through a flour mixture that had — you guessed it — more Badia Complete seasoning. I loved the zesty, just slightly salty flavor of the Badia Complete that I actually used it in almost every step of making this buttermilk fried chicken.
For my frying method, I tried a new method of frying the chicken in a cast iron pan (which I’ve done before) and alternating both covered and uncovered frying.
This method, coupled with the addition of Badia Complete All-Purpose seasoning, turned out to be a truly winning combination. The seasoning hit just the right savory notes, making the chicken well-seasoned, earthy and interesting to eat without becoming too salty. I’m excited to try this seasoning with other tried-and-true recipes to see how I can turn up the volume on those dishes as well.
Of course, even though I really love the mental image of our entire family sitting outside on the front porch, wearing undershirts and eating buttermilk fried chicken from a paper towel-lined bucket, I thought it might be good to have a side dish or two. For a fresh, crunchy contrast, I made a red cabbage slaw with radishes and cucumbers with a creamy miso dressing. The acidity of the dressing and the vibrant colors of the miso slaw made for a tasty salad that balanced out the greasiness of the fried chicken. We chowed down on our chicken and slaw, then polished off a few good icy cold hunks of watermelon, too. The parents (ahem, that would be me and my better half) got full glasses of 120 Hero’s Salute Red Blend, which was the perfect, light red summer wine to pair with fried chicken.
For more grilling inspiration with Santa Rita, check out this grilled Chilean chicken and pebre sauce.