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.
For the buttermilk fried chicken:
- 1 whole chicken cut into eight pieces (click here for a good step-by-step)
- 5 teaspoons Badia Complete all-purpose seasoning
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- peanut oil for frying
For the miso slaw:
- ½ head of red cabbage
- 4 Persian cucumbers
- 3 radishes
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Arrange the chicken pieces in a 9x13 baking dish. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 3 teaspoons of the Badia complete seasoning and 2 cups of the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours, preferably overnight. Turn the chicken over once during the marinating process.
- At least 30 minutes before cooking, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Mix together the eggs and remaining one cup of buttermilk in a medium sized bowl. Mix together the flour and 1 teaspoon Badia seasoning in a shallow bowl or platter.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Dip the chicken pieces, one by one, in the flour, turning to coat both sides, then quickly dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then back into the flour mixture. Place the chicken pieces onto the baking sheet, making sure that the pieces do not touch, and then refrigerate the chicken, uncovered for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- While the chicken is in the refrigerator, prepare the slaw. Core and medium dice the red cabbage, then cut the cucumbers lengthwise and dice them into roughly ½" chunks. Dice the radishes, then add the cabbage and cucumbers into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, miso, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then fold in the dressing with the cabbage mixture. Add the sesame seeds, stir to distribute evenly and loosely cover the slaw.
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place a wire rack into a baking sheet and set next to the area where you will be frying.
- Heat a 12" skillet with a tight-fitting cover and deep sides on an outdoor grill. Pour peanut oil into the skillet so that it comes up ?rd of the way up the sides. Place a frying thermometer into the oil and heat the oil until the temperature is between 350-360 degrees.
- When the oil is ready, fry the chicken in batches, placing each piece of chicken skin side down and making sure not to crowd the skillet (the pieces should not touch). Cover the skillet and fry for 5 minutes, making sure to maintain the oil temperature at around 325 degrees while frying.
- Uncover the skillet and fry for another 5 minutes, then turn the chicken over using long tongs. Cover the skillet again and fry for another 5 minutes. Uncover the skillet and turn the chicken again, cooking for between 5-10 minutes until the juices run clear. You may need to turn the chicken once or twice again to make sure it crisps up evenly.
- Remove the chicken from the oil and place on the baking sheet, then keep the chicken warm in the oven while you continue to fry the remaining chicken in batches. Serve with miso slaw.