How about a little tea and/or coffee with your chicken? Don’t worry, it won’t get in the way — we’re talking the brine and sauce, respectively, which is how chef Randy Reppel does deep-fried bird at Williamsburg’s all-organic Sweet Chick. The sweet-tea brine keeps the meat juicy and succulent, and the drizzle of coffee-spiked molasses brings it all home. Make it at home, pair it with your favorite waffle recipe and elevate this humble cuisine to “everyone’s favorite thing you make.”
- 12 chicken legs and thighs, in total
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup sweet tea
- 3/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 quarts flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 quart buttermilk
Coffee Molasses Glaze
- 1 quart molasses
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup coffee beans
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5 tablespoons instant coffee
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 stick butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch, for slurry
- 4 tablespoons water, for slurry
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the glaze:
- Combine all ingredients except for the cornstarch and water in a pot and reduce by half.
- Mix slurry ingredients together thoroughly and add to molasses mixture.
- Thicken until you reach a glossy gravy consistency.
- Strain, then set aside and keep warm.
For the fried chicken:
- Brine chicken for 24 hours, then pat dry.
- Coat each piece of chicken with dredge, removing excess, then coat with buttermilk.
- Dredge again and set aside.
- Fry in vegetable oil at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until internal temperature is 175-180°F.
- Remove chicken from pot and drain on paper towels.
- Drizzle with sauce and serve.
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