Ginger Snap Fried Chicken from Ginger Infused Buttermilk Brine
This recipe is in honor of all the fried chicken lovers out there. Because there is nothing more satisfying than a piece of chicken fried to a lovely amber-golden, crispy on the outside and oh-so juicy and flavorful and tender on the inside. And if you appreciate the flavor of ginger cakes and cookies, you will surely appreciate the subtle taste of ginger in this recipe.
This succulent fried chicken is soaked 24-hours in a brine of brown-sugar and sea salt, and buttermilk and ginger ale, infused with the added bite from lots of fresh ginger, known to have many health benefits.
Ginger is classified as an herb, and though it is used as a spice in many cultures throughout the world, it is widely used as medicine too. Ginger is a root, an underground stem, very aromatic and pungent to the taste.
As you will see from this recipe, making fried chicken can be somewhat labor intensive. It is one of the reasons why it is often made for special gatherings and on holidays. However, fried chicken is very much worth all the effort!
Come; take a comfortable seat at our cozy table. Dinner is served!
Recipe is for a large crowd; serves 8-10.
STEPS 1 (brining chicken overnight):
1 quart full-fat buttermilk
1 quart ginger ale soda (such as Canada Dry)
1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt
1/4 cup golden-brown sugar (packed tight)
1/4 cup boiled cider syrup (from King Arthur Flour), optional
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger (more or less to taste)
3 large garlic cloves (more or less to taste), peeled and thinly sliced
4 pounds chicken (roughly 24 chicken parts)
- Into a large non-reactive bowl add all the brining ingredients (save the chicken parts) and mix well; making sure sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Add chicken parts and toss well. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least overnight, and preferably up to 24 hours.
STEPS 2 (day of cooking):
Note: When fats are melted, you want to have a depth of at least 1-inch.
4 pounds lard (more or less as needed during cooking)
2 sticks (1-cup total) unsalted butter
- Using the large burner, on medium setting, add the fats to a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and slowly heat to about 350-360 degrees.
STEPS 3 (dredge & egg-wash):
Brined chicken pieces from steps 1
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups self-rising flour
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup [finely crushed] ginger snaps cookies (about 20 cookies)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or gray salt, or sea salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder (optional)
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Take the bowl of chicken out of the fridge, and setup your workstation.
- Into a bowl or sealable plastic zip-lock bag (1-2 gallon-size) or large paper bag combine the dry ingredients and mix well; set aside.
- In a medium bowl lightly beat the buttermilk and eggs; set aside.
Note: Preheat oven to 350 degrees now.
- When the oil is ready, heated to about 350-360 degrees, take chicken pieces out of the brine and dip into the buttermilk/egg-wash, and then into the bag (a couple of pieces at a time) and shake to coat well. Shake off excess flour and proceed with #8.
- Working with small batches (do not crowd chicken), carefully place 4-5 pieces of chicken in the oil and fry 3-4 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden/amber brown. Remove the chicken from the oil and place on clean paper bags (spread open) to drip excess grease.
Note: Allow the oil to return to 350-360 degrees before frying each next batch.
- When all the chicken is fried, take chicken off the paper and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment (for easy clean-up) and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink inside.
Enjoy with mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy!
Cook with heart; eat with gusto. Buen Provecho!