Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Adapted by StarChefs.com
July 2016
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
After their wildly successful Sunday Dinner Club launched their culinary careers, 2015 Chicago Rising Stars Alums Joshua Kulp and Christina Cikowski opened Honey Butter Fried Chicken. This National Fried Chicken Day treat yourself to a whole new class of fried chicken with Kulp and Cikowski’s signature recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Honey Butter
8 ounces room temperature butter
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon Salt
Brine
¾ cup Salt
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
Peel of 1 lemon
Peel of 1 orange
1 gallon water
Chicken
2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts halved width wise
2 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
Chicken Dredge
3½ cups flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon baking powder
To Assemble and Serve
1 quart room-temperature buttermilk
canola oil
or rice bran oil for deep frying
Salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika

METHOD:

For the Honey Butter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, combine butter, honey, and salt and whip until the mixture is aerated, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Taste and adjust Honey Butter with honey and salt as needed; refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

For the Brine

In a large pot over medium heat, combine all ingredients, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely. 

For the Chicken

Brine the Chicken for 12 to 24 hours. Drain, and dry with paper towels.

For the Chicken Dredge

In a shallow half-hotel pan, combine all ingredients. (Taste it—it should taste good!). Pour half the Chicken Dredge in another half-hotel pan.

To Assemble and Serve

Pour buttermilk into a third pan. Batter each piece of chicken individually. Dip a chicken portion into the first pan of Chicken Dredge, lightly coating the chicken. Submerge dredged chicken in buttermilk. Lift chicken out of the buttermilk, and let drip slightly. Place into second pan of Chicken Dredge. Be careful to ensure that the chicken is evenly and fully coated. Do not let the coating become too thick. Place the battered chicken onto a plate and batter remaining chicken. Let the chicken rest, battered. (If not frying the chicken within an hour, refrigerate, uncovered, for no more than 3 hours, making sure to take the chill off the chicken by leaving it out at room temperature for 30 minutes.) 

Into a heavy pot, pour 4 inches of oil, and heat to 340°F, monitoring temperature with a thermometer. Place chicken gently into oil, careful not to crowd the pot and decrease the temperature of the oil. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil at a constant temperature between 315 and 320°F. Fry chicken until each piece registers 165°F at it’s thickest point. The drumsticks will take approximately 11 to13 minutes to cook. The breasts and thighs will fry for approximately 10 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, transfer carefully from the oil and place on a wire rack set over a sheet tray or on paper towels. Dust the top side of the hot fried chicken with salt and  paprika. Let rest for one minute, flip the chicken, and dust the other side with salt and paprika. Serve with room temperature Honey Butter to spread onto the hot fried chicken.