CORNMEAL CRUSTED CHICKEN
For the Brine
- 1 packet of Larder Meat Co. poultry brine
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup cold water
For the Cornmeal Crust
- 1 cup cornmeal, fine ground
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
For the Bird
- 1 whole chicken, quartered
- 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 large (approx. 11-12 inch.) cast-iron skillet
- 1-2 gallon size ziploc freezer bags
- 1 digital probe thermometer
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1-2 tablespoons of honey
Quarter your chicken by separating the breasts and the legs from the rest of the carcass.
Mix brine ingredients in a large ziploc freezer bag (gallon size) and mix well to incorporate. Add the quartered chicken pieces and brine overnight.
The next day, rinse brine off of chicken under cold water and set quarters aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cornmeal crust ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Add the crust ingredients to a new gallon-size ziploc bag and mix to combine.
Add chicken quarters to the bag, seal the bag and shake well.
Remove the chicken from the bag and knock any excess crust back into the bag.
Heat the oil in the cast-iron skillet until it is shimmering. Working with both leg quarters first, add the chicken to the skillet - skin side first - and fry for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until golden-brown. After the leg quarters, do the same with the breast sections. Note: it may be necessary to dump out the oil if you have too much residual crust left in the oil. If this is the case, just dump off the oil, wipe the skillet clean, add new oil and then fry the breast sections - skin side first - until they are golden brown like the leg quarters. If you do this a few times you will learn to control the heat and timing to the point where you can just add all of the quarters to the pan at different intervals, but this requires a professional-level skillet-flipper acumen.
After all pieces have been skillet-fried, put all 4 quarters back into the pan and place in the 350 degree oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the probe thermometer reads 148-150 degrees on the breast sections and 156-160 on the leg sections.
When the chicken is cooked, baste the parts in the skillet with the butter and add the thyme to the sizzling butter while basting the chicken.
Serve chicken on a warm platter and garnish with a drizzle of honey and the fried thyme. Enjoy!