smokey fried chicken
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 quarts cold water
1 three-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 quart buttermilk
1 pound lard
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 slices thick cut bacon cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
To make the brine: Stir kosher salt into cold water until dissolved.
Place chicken parts in a nonreactive bowl or pot; add enough brine to cover completely. Refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.
Drain the brined chicken and rinse out the bowl it was brined in.
Return chicken to the bowl, and pour the buttermilk over.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the chicken on a wire rack, discarding the buttermilk.
prepare the fat for frying by putting the lard, butter and bacon into a heavy skillet or frying pan. Cook over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, skimming as needed, until the butter clarifies and the bacon is browned.
Just before frying, increase the temperature to medium-high and heat the fat to 335 degrees. Prepare the dredge by blending together the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or on wax paper.
Dredge the drained chicken pieces thoroughly in the flour mixture, then pat well to remove all excess flour.
Using tongs, carefully put the chicken pieces, skin side down, into the heated fat. (Do not overcrowd the pan or the cooking fat will cool. Fry in batches,)
Regulate the fat so it just bubbles, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
Drain thoroughly on a brown paper bag, and serve.
Pairs Well With
I think the bacon flavor in the fat adds a special zing to this fried chicken. I like it even better the day after :)