by Cat, July 2007 (photo, right, from Wikimedia commons)
See also: 1. 1-2-3 Buttermilk Fried Chicken; or, from other sites: 2. Oven-Fried Chicken (EatingWell.com (2)) 3. Buttermilk Country-Fried Chicken with Cucumber Salad (3)
This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking.com’s Tea-Crusted Fried Chicken with Pickled Veggies (1). The original uses lapsang souchong tea in the breading; I think that tea smells and tastes like creosote and can’t stomach it. Instead, I’d use ground smoked paprika or chipotle, for the smoky flavor.
The fermented veggies will also help with the digestion of the high-fat fried chicken. However, to ferment them, you don’t want to use vinegar as in the original recipe but rather a lacto-fermenting culture or just salt. This means starting a week or more in advance, for the veggies to ferment (unless you already have some ready made). Real kimchi would be great with this, but I really like the idea of just beans, carrots and shallots. I use Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz (2) as my guide for fermenting veggies, as in this recipe; he also has a great recipe for kimchi.
I’ve not tried this recipe, but wanted to get my ideas captured here for future reference.
Smokey Fried Chicken, with Fermented Green Beans and Carrots
Ingredients & Equipment
Pickled (fermented) veggies
- 2 large shallots, sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 lb trimmed green beans
- 1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1/2” thick rounds
- 4 cups water
- 1/3 cup liquid whey or juice from previous fermentation project (sauerkraut, pickles, etc.) or 1 packet veggie culture *
- 1/4 cup Rapadura sugar
- 2 tsp coarsely ground coriander seeds
- 3 Tbsp Unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
NOTE: see 1-2-3 Buttermilk Fried Chicken for notes on ingredients and equipment
- 6 chicken thighs, or about 1 1/2 pounds of cut up chicken pieces, (with skin-on)
- ¾ cup buttermilk or unsweetened plain yogurt
- 1 tsp Unrefined sea salt (divided),
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)
- ¾ cup unbleached white flour (wheat or spelt), or white/whole grain combo
- 1 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder (instead of 2 tsp lapsang souchong tea leaves, crumbled)
- 1 tsp coarsely ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp Unrefined sea salt
- 1 ½ cups fat (for example, 1 cup lard + 1/2 cup palm oil)
Equipment for veggies
- fermentation crock or 1 – 2 quart jars, with lids
- large bowl (if using jars for fermenting)
Equipment for chicken
- medium bowl
- glass baking pan with lid (or makeshift cover)
- 2 small brown paper bags, one inside the other
- 12 inch cast iron fry pan, or electric chicken fryer (photo, below, from blue cornflower.com (3))
Pickled (fermented) veggies
- About a week before you plan to cook the chicken, start the veggies and spices to fermenting. Slice shallots thinly, trim the green beans, scrub the slice the carrots (1/2” thick rounds). Grind the coriander seeds.
- Combine veggies in crock; or if using glass canning jars, combine veggies in bowl, then transfer to jars. Press down lightly with a pounder, meat hammer, or old-fashioned potato masher.
- Combine water & salt, stirring until dissolved. Add sugar and stir again to dissolve. Add whey or substitute*, coriander, and pepper, then pour over veggies, adding more water as necessary to cover. Keep top of the liquid 1 inch below the top of the jar or crock.
- Tap down again to ensure veggies are submerged.
- Cover: If using a crock, cover with a weighted board or plate to keep veggies submerged. If crock doesn’t have a lid, cover with a cotton muslin dish towel to keep out dust and bugs. If using jar(s)s, screw on lid(s), tightly.
- Keep at a cool room temperature for 2 – 3 days; check the veggies daily for level of sourness, and skim any mold off the surface.
- When they are as sour as you wish, transfer jar(s) to the refrigerator for 3 days or more before serving. If you used a crock, transfer to jar(s) with lids, then place in fridge.
*NOTE: You can ferment without adding a source of culture (whey, powdered culture or juice from another fermentation project), but it does jump-start the fermentation process and minimizes the amount of salt needed. If you don’t use the culture, you will need to increase the salt.
Prepare chicken as for 1-2-3 Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe, with the following additions/changes:
- Mix buttermilk with 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper and soak chicken pieces as in 1-2-3 recipe, for 2 hours (or more) in fridge. Remove from pan, shaking off excess buttermilk.
- Combine remaining 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, smoky spice (or tea leaves) and ground coriander. Sprinkle this mixture over chicken pieces, then pat to adhere. Then dredge in flour.
- Fry as in 1-2-3 recipe above, then transfer to wire rack to drain for a few minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Serve chicken with fermented veggies. Freshly-steamed corn on the cob garnished with melted butter and salt is a great summertime accompaniment, or steamed red or yellow-Finn potatoes is a great wintertime accompaniment.
- Tea-Crusted Fried Chicken with Pickled Veggies (finecooking.com/recipes/tea-crusted-fried-chicken-pickled-green-beans-carrots.aspx)
- Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz