For the fried chicken: Bring 8 cups water, 1 cup of the salt, the peppercorns, sugar
, bay leaves
, garlic and onions
to a low boil in a large pot. Remove from the heat, add 8 cups crushed ice and stir until cool. Taste to check if it is too salty, adding more water if necessary. Add the chicken to the brine
and refrigerate for 6 hours.
For the "creamed" corn: Allow yourself a large working surface. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs, moving slowly as they have a tendency to fly everywhere. Using the back of your knife, scrape the cobs to extract
the "milk" into a bowl.
In medium saute pan, heat the olive oil
until almost smoking. Add the onions and cook until lightly caramelized. Add the corn kernels and "milk" and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a blender
half of the corn with the stock to achieve a coarse consistency. Return the mixture to the pan with the remaining corn and heat through, reducing until desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven
(or similar pot), heat the canola oil over medium heat until a deep-fry
thermometer inserted in the oil registers 350 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, the remaining 2 tablespoons salt, the cayenne, celery seeds, paprika
and ground black pepper. Pour the buttermilk into another medium mixing bowl.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Designate one hand the wet hand and one hand the dry hand. Working one at a time, dredge
each breast in the flour mix (dry hand), then in the buttermilk
(wet hand) and then back in the flour mix (dry hand). Shake off the excess flour and put the chicken on a plate to dry. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
Carefully place the chicken breasts
, one by one, into the oil in the Dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes, moving the pieces occasionally to avoid sticking. Turn over and cook until golden brown and an internal temperature of 180 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to rest for 5 minutes.
For the quick collard greens: Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized. Add the sherry vinegar
and sugar and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze
with half of the stock, reducing for 2 minutes. Add the collards
in two batches and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining stock and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chicken with the collard greens and corn.