Barberton Fried Chicken

From Cook's Country | June/July 2011
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Why this recipe works:

We bring this Barberton, Ohio, restaurant star home by brining the chicken and breading it with flour, egg, and finely ground Japanese-style panko bread crumbs. Not only does store-bought panko save the time of preparing fresh bread crumbs, but it yields a crackingly crisp crust. While we didn… read more

We bring this Barberton, Ohio, restaurant star home by brining the chicken and breading it with flour, egg, and finely ground Japanese-style panko bread crumbs. Not only does store-bought panko save the time of preparing fresh bread crumbs, but it yields a crackingly crisp crust. While we didn’t use lard alone to fry the chicken as they do in Barberton, we found that a small amount of it nicely seasoned the meat. And don’t forget a dip in the stewed pepper and tomato “hot sauce.”

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Serves 4 to 6

If using breasts, halve crosswise for even cooking. Wings require about 10 minutes of frying. If you can't find lard, use 2 cups extra peanut oil or vegetable oil.

Ingredients

  • BRINE
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, trimmed
  • COATING
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lard

Instructions

  1. 1. For the brine: Whisk 2 quarts cold water and salt together in large container until salt dissolves. Add chicken and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    2. For the coating: Pulse panko in food processor until finely ground, about 5 pulses. Place ground panko, 2 teaspoons pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in shallow dish. Combine flour, remaining 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in second shallow dish. Beat eggs in third shallow dish.

    3. Remove chicken from refrigerator and pour off brine. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Dredge chicken pieces, 2 at a time, in flour mixture. Shake excess flour from chicken. Dip chicken in egg, then dredge in panko mixture, pressing crumbs to adhere. Place chicken on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

    4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil and lard in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until 325 degrees. Fry half of chicken, adjusting burner as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 275 and 300 degrees, until deep golden brown and breasts register 160 degrees and thighs/ drumsticks register 175 degrees, 14 to 18 minutes. Drain chicken on clean wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Bring oil back to 325 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Serve with Barberton Hot Sauce.

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