Chile-Lime Fried Chicken
- 4 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
- 4 dry pasilla chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 4 dry ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 limes, zested
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Honey, for dipping
Brine: In a large bowl add the water, salt, sugar and lime juice, stirring to dissolve. Add the chicken and refrigerate, covered, for 12 hours or overnight.
Rub: Tear the chiles roughly into 1-inch pieces and toast in a pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer them to a food processor along with the salt, garlic powder and lime zest. Pulse into a coarse powder. Remove the rub to a large bowl.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Add chicken to the rub and coat all of the pieces well. Let rest on the countertop until chicken comes to room temperature or up to 2 hours.
In a deep-fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 350 degrees F.
Set up a dredging station: Put the flour, cornstarch and a pinch of salt and pepper in a paper bag. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge the chicken, 1 piece at a time, to the paper bag and toss. Remove with tongs, dip in the egg wash then return them to the paper bag for a second toss. Shake off the excess flour and add the chicken pieces to the oil in batches, making sure to keep frying temperature at around 350 degrees F. Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on piece of chicken. Remove the chicken to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and season with salt, to taste, and a spritz of lime juice. Serve with honey for dipping.
Recipe courtesy Sunny Anderson, 2010