This week, we’re spotlighting recipes from Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom from My Life in the Kitchen by Emeril Lagasse (Oxmoor House/Time Inc. Books), the celebrity chef and TV personality. Try making the recipes at home and let us know what you think!
Photograph by Iain Bagwell for Oxmoor House/Time Inc. Books
By Emeril Lagasse
Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pepper Jelly Drizzle
Makes 4 servings
In this twist on fried chicken, the traditional buttermilk soak is jet-fueled with hot sauce, imparting a heat that penetrates down into the moist flesh of the bird. The Pepper Jelly Drizzle adds a delicious sweet-hot pop.
1 quart buttermilk
¼ cup hot sauce (I like Crystal for this)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons celery salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3-½ to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
½ cup milk
Vegetable oil, for frying
Pepper Jelly Drizzle, for serving (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic, celery salt, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Add the chicken, making sure it is evenly coated with the buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove it from the marinade; discard the marinade.
In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, 5 teaspoons salt, and 4 teaspoons pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and 1 teaspoon salt to combine. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge the chicken completely in the flour, shaking to remove any excess, then dip it in the egg wash, allowing any extra to drip off, then give it a final roll in the flour. As you coat each piece, place it on a wire rack. Allow it to sit on the rack for 20 to 30 minutes—this will help “set” the crust.
Heat 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches of oil in a large cast iron skillet with high sides or Dutch oven to 325°F (don’t fill it more than half full with the oil). Working in batches, fry the chicken, turning it occasionally to promote even browning, until golden brown and crispy on all sides and cooked all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes. Wings and breasts will cook more quickly than the drumsticks and thighs. Transfer to a wire rack to drain, and let cool briefly before serving with Pepper Jelly Drizzle.
Pepper Jelly Drizzle
Makes about 3 cups
½ cup minced, seeded red bell pepper
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
¾ cup cider vinegar
3 ¼ cups sugar
2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
2 Fresno chiles, thinly sliced (or substitute red jalapeño or Thai chiles)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
In a food processor or blender, combine the bell pepper, crushed red pepper, and vinegar, and blend for a few seconds. Transfer to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat over high heat until it comes to a vigorous boil that cannot be stirred down. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature undisturbed (stirring will encourage the formation of sugar crystals). Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Reprinted with permission from Essential Emeril by Emeril Lagasse (Oxmoor House/Time Inc. Books).
Essential Emeril by Emeril Lagasse.
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