Fried Chicken, Emeril Style

Total Time:
5 hr 10 min
20 min
4 hr 20 min
30 min

8 servings

  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Essence, divided, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
  • 2 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Mashed Potatoes, for serving, recipe follows
  • Oven-Steamed Buttered Corn, for serving, recipe follows
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Mashed Potatoes:
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick butter, cubed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives, for garnish, optional
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded Cheddar, for garnish, optional
  • Oven-Steamed Buttered Corn:
  • 6 ears corn
  • 3 tablespoons cold salted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon Essence
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving
  • Combine the buttermilk, 1/4 cup Essence, salt, sugar, and garlic in a large nonreactive bowl. Stir to blend. Immerse the chicken in the mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and for up to 24 hours.

  • Combine the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup Essence, and the cayenne in a large doubled brown paper bag or plastic freezer bag and shake to blend. Drop the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the flour mixture and shake thoroughly to completely coat. Remove the chicken and shake off the excess flour. Repeat the coating process with the remaining chicken pieces. Place the coated chicken on a large wire rack set over a sheet pan and let rest until ready to fry, at least 20 minutes.

  • Heat 4 inches of oil to 300 degrees F over medium-high heat in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot. Fry the chicken in batches, skin side down, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn and fry until golden brown on the second side, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. (Note: An even oil temperature is the key to success; a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times. And the temperature should remain between 280 degrees F and 300 degrees F at all times.) Allow the chicken to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

  • Published by William Morrow, 1993.

Mashed Potatoes:
  • Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain. Place the potatoes back in the pot and return to the heat. Stir the potatoes, constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes to dehydrate the potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the heat. Add the butter. Using a handheld masher, mash the butter into the potatoes. Add enough cream until desired smoothness is achieved. The potatoes should still be sort of lumpy. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Top with chopped chives and cheese, if using.

  • Yield: 6 servings

Oven-Steamed Buttered Corn:
  • Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Remove the husks and silk from each ear of corn. Rinse the corn under cold running water and pat dry.

  • Cut 6 pieces of foil large enough to wrap each ear of corn.

  • Divide the butter into 6 equal pieces and place 1 piece a 1/3 of the way up from the bottom on each piece of foil. Set 1 ear of corn on top of each butter pat and sprinkle with some of the Essence. Roll up the foil over the corn, starting at the bottom. Keep rolling until only 4 inches of foil are left at the top, then fold the left and right sides in toward the center. Finish rolling the foil over the corn. Place the corn on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before taking the corn out of the hot foil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.

  • Yield: 6 servings

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