Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy of Chef John Fleer, Inn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
Show: Tyler's Ultimate Episode: Fried Chicken
TOTAL TIME: 48 hr 35 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 48 hr
Cook: 15 min
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

BRINE:
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 quart very strong tea
  • 1 cup sugar
    CRUST:
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    Directions

    To make the brine: Zest, then quarter the lemon. Put the lemon zest and quarters in a saucepan. Add the tea, sugar, and salt. Simmer the mixture over medium-high heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add 1 quart of ice water and the chicken. Brine the chicken in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Drain the chicken and blot dry.

    Combine 2 cups flour, the masa harina, crab boil seasoning, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the 8 eggs with the buttermilk. Put the remaining 2 cups of flour in a third bowl.

    Prepare a breading station by lining up the bowl of flour, then the bowl containing the egg and buttermilk mixture, and finally the bowl of seasoned crust mixture. Roll the chicken in the flour, then the egg mixture, and then the crust then put the legs and thighs in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

    Fill a large deep pan with enough oil to completely submerge the chicken. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 300 degrees F. Add the chicken and cook until it is golden and the juices run clear, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain the chicken on a rack then serve.
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