The fried hen is a dish with a long history. A fourth-century Roman cookbook reportedly covered a recipe for fried chicken, then called “Pullum frontonianum”. The dish’s modern incarnation as “Southern” emerged from African American slave groups within the antebellum South. Centuries later, it’s one of the global’s move-to comfort foods.
Neil Perry knows this nicely. The culinary director of Rockpool Dining Group, Perry, oversees the authentic Southern-fashion fried chook in Burger Project’s new Chicken and Chicken Deluxe burgers. One of Australia’s maximum successful cooks, we asked Perry to proportion with us to make a model of his fried chicken at domestic.
Choose the proper chicken.
Superlative fried chook calls for a top-class chook. “The flavor and moistness of the hen is key to the burger,” says Perry. “Frozen chook drops quite a few moistures when cooked, so go for fresh fowl all the way.”
Perry says to purchase the high-quality you can find the money for. “Ethically raised unfastened-range or organic fowl is greater flavorsome and gentle.”
At Burger Project, loose-range chicken breasts are brined earlier than frying. “We do this to make sure consistency,” says Perry. “It also takes a pro hand to brine effectively, without over-salting, and it’s possibly not something to test with at home.”
A more secure alternative for the house to prepare dinner is to marinate the chicken in buttermilk for at least two hours – however, a single day is higher. “Marinating the bird does wonder in the juiciness department,” says Perry. “[It] provides a sweet tanginess and tenderness. The viscosity of the buttermilk additionally aids in a better flour coating.”
Coating and seasoning
Southern-fried fowl is floured, no longer battered, before frying. “A nicely-pro flour coating facilitates to create a light, flavorsome crunch,” says Perry. The chef prefers to use self-elevating flour because the “baking powder in it helps with the crunch”.
Before tossing it in flour, be sure to drain off as much buttermilk as possible. Otherwise, you can end up with a gunky coating that doesn’t crisp or adhere to the meat. “It will fall off, and you’ll lose the coating inside the fryer,” says Perry.
Seasonings tend to be closely guarded trade secrets: at Burger Project, fowl is seasoned with a blend of 10 herbs and spices and four one-of-a-kind flours. A simple seasoning to make at home, says Perry, “is a pinch of celery salt, thyme leaves, and white pepper, so it doesn’t obscure the flavor of the chook”.
The trick to frying
With its high flash point and diffused flavor, Vegetable oil works quality for frying, says Perry.
“The trick to developing splendid-crispy Southern-fried fowl is to double-fry – think of it as adding a double layer of crunch,” he says.
First, deep-fry the bird in oil at a hundred seventy five°C for about three mins, depending on the thickness. Cool on a cord rack. Then increase the oil temperature to a hundred and eighty°C and fry the chicken for a further 3 minutes, or until golden in the shade.
When it involves serving your chicken, Perry says easy is OK. “If you select appropriate pleasant chicken, marinate it thoughtfully, season the flesh and the finished product, coat it carefully, pick the proper oil and deep-fry two times, your Southern-fried chook must need little or no else,” he says.
To assist the flavors really stand out, says Perry, all you need to do is serve your fried bird in a soft milk bun with a bit of aioli and masses of pickles or coleslaw to cut through the rich flavour.
Here’s how to make Neil Perry’s Southern-fried hen burger at domestic.
Neil Perry’s Southern Fried Chicken Burger
4 x 120g bird breasts
15g white pepper, freshly floor
10g dried thyme leaves
10g celery salt
350g self-elevating flour
30ml bloodless water
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Soft milk buns, toasted