Monday, October 17, 2016

Ranch Fried Chicken

I made something that went over real well with the family, Ranch Fried Chicken.  I'd heard of it before but the recipes always involved a packet of dry ranch seasoning, which to me never tasted very much like Ranch dressing once cooked in anything, like a meatloaf.  Well I caught an episode of America's Test Kitchen or Cook's Country (I have trouble telling those two shows apart) and they did Ranch Fried Chicken without using the packet of whatever.  It was intriguing.  I couldn't use part of the recipe, since cilantro and cayenne don't agree with my spouse, so I changed things a couple of times and hit a recipe that not only did remind me of Ranch, but the family enjoyed it!


  • Finely chopped fresh Dill (5 Tbs, divided 3 and 2)
  • Finely chopped fresh Parsley (5 Tbs, divided 3 and 2)
  • Finely chopped fresh Rosemary (3 Tbs, divided (2 and 1)
  • Finely minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • Buttermilk (1 cup)
  • White Vinegar (2 tsp)
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)
  • Black Pepper (1/2 tsp)
  • AP Flour (1 cup)
  • Cornstarch (1/2 cup)
  • Garlic Powder (1 tsp)
  • Old Bay Seasoning (2 tsp)
  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (yes, boneless and skinless, it really does work)
  • Dry, salt and pepper your Chicken Thighs
  • Mix the Buttermilk, Vinegar, 3 Tbs of Dill and Parsley, 2 Tbs of Rosemary, Salt and Pepper, and minced Garlic in a bowl.  
  • Reserve a quarter cup as a dipping sauce.
  • In a separate bowl combine the Flour, Cornstarch, Garlic powder and Old Bay Seasoning.
  • Soak each Thigh in the Buttermilk mixture to coat.  No need to brine or marinate for long period, that's the benefit of using chicken thighs.
  • Dredge in the Flour mixture and set aside.
  • Preheat 2-3 inches of Vegetable or Peanut oil to 350F degrees is a vessel wide and deep enough for some frying.  I usually use a cast iron dutch oven.
  • Once the oil is hot, gently, and I do mean gently, slid in two pieces of chicken.  Fry for approximately 7-8 minutes.  You do have to keep adjusting the flame to keep the oil about 350. 
  • You will see a drop in temperature when the pieces are added, but it should recover quickly.  If it falls too far, you might need to cook one piece at a time.  About the 3.5-4 minute mark turn over the pieces.
  • Remove to a paper towel for just a few seconds to get some of the surface oil off.  
  • Then transfer to a wire rack over a sheet pan to drain off any more oil.  If the oil remains hot enough, there is usually very little oil drained off.
  • Repeat with the other three batches.
  • Let the last batch rest while plating, using a little of the reserve buttermilk mixture as a dip.  I have also found Ranch Dressing and even Frank's Red Hot are excellent accompaniments rather than the buttermilk mixture.
  • I have made as many as 6 batches (12 thighs) and the first pair of thighs were still plenty hot when I was done.  If you are making more, I recommend placing your wire rack/sheet pan in the oven at 200 degrees.  It will keep it hot without cooking it further and shouldn't start drying out out before you are done.
Some notes:
  • Do not let the oil go too high.  Not only can you burn your chicken, but if you let it get over 400F, you shouldn't strain the oil and reuse.  I use two strainers and a double piece of cheesecloth between them to strain my oil and I can set several fries out of each container.  I don't use it for anything other than frying.  You wouldn't want to make a salad dressing out of it.
  • The chicken is also good cold and even as leftovers.  I know it sounds like a sin, but I simple put the leftovers in a plastic ziploc bag.  It's never going to be as crispy as freshly fried, so I have given up trying to maintain the crispness.  None of the techniques I have heard of seemed to work overnight anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I love the seasonings you have used. I am sure this fried chicken was amazing.