Continuing our celebration of watermelon, a second Southern specialty from our friends at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Fried Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles. Chicken brined in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne and black peppers, and garlic and onion. Seasoned with garlic, onion, paprika and cayenne, then fried, it’s Southern perfection!
- 2 whole chickens
- 1-1/4 qts. water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup salt
- 5 Tbsp. paprika
- 5 Tbsp. cayenne
- 1 Tbsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. granulated garlic
- 2 Tbsp. granulated onion
- 1-1/4 qts. ice water
- 1-1/4 qts. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 5 tsp. granulated onion
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Vegetable shortening (peanut or vegetable oil will work, too)
- 1 Place the water (not the ice water), sugar, salt, and all spices in a pot and bring to simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.
- 2 Whisk to ensure that spices and sugar have dissolved completely.
- 3 Remove from heat and combine with ice water to chill. Let chill until at least 40 degrees.
- 4 Place the cut chicken in a container and pour the cold liquid brine over it. Chill in refrigerator for 24 hours.
For the Seasoned Flour
- 1 Mix all spices and flour well.
- 1 Remove the chicken from the brine and dredge in the seasoned flour. Place the shortening in a pan (cast iron preferred) and melt slowly. The goal is to have the shortening about 1/2 inch up the side of the pan.
- 2 Heat the shortening over low heat until it reaches 325 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to regulate the temperature.
- 3 Place the breasts and thighs in the pan, skin side down. After 8 minutes, flip the pieces over and continuing frying for another 6 minutes. Remove from pan and let sit on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels.
- 4 Stick the thickest pieces with a meat thermometer; the chicken must reach 165 degrees. Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt.
- 5 Place the wings and drums in the oil making sure to maintain 325 degrees. After 5 minutes, flip the pieces and continuing frying for another 4 minutes.
- 6 Remove from pan and let sit on a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels. Stick the thickest pieces with a meat thermometer; the chicken must reach 165 degrees.
- 7 Season lightly with a pinch of sea salt before serving.