Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
Fried chicken is undeniably one of my very favorite things to eat. It is also one of the things I did away with when I adopted a gluten-free diet. However, when I discovered the joys of breading and frying with crushed gluten-free Rice Chex cereal recently, I went a bit nuts and began to test the results on all of my old, and long-missed favorites.
For my money, chicken, like fish, tastes best when soaked in brine for a spell, then marinated in buttermilk.
This recipe marinates the chicken overnight, then fries it up in oil, and finishes it in the oven for a crispy texture.
The recipe makes 6-8 servings, and goes great with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, beans, cole slaw, or any other side dish you care to serve.
1½ tablespoons salt - for brine
1 quart of water - for brine
1 cup hot red pepper sauce
1 cup of rice flour
3 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 quart buttermilk
2 cups Rice Chex, finely crushed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon thyme,
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper,
1 tablespoon ground parsley
Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
In a large bowl, dissolve 1½ tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of water. Add cut chick pieces to the salt water.
Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for one hour.
Remove chicken from salt water, and dry lightly on paper towel.
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than halfway with oil.
In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange (about 1 cup).
Season the chicken with mixture of salt, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and ground parsley.
Dredge each piece in rice flour.
Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the Rice Chex.
Place the chicken in the preheated oil a few pieces at a time, and fry the chicken about 3-5 minutes, until the coating is a light golden brown. Chicken will brown further in the oven. Be sure not to crowd the pieces.
Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch.
As the pieces finish, remove each piece from the oil and place on a paper towel to dry a bit. Once all the chicken pieces are fried and dry, place pieces on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.
Note: Dark meat takes longer than white meat, so check pieces separately with a fork. Make sure the juices run clear.