November 2, 2016

Spanish Fried Chicken with Grilled Avocado

I recently visited the A.O.C Winebar in Los Angeles and had their amazing Spanish Fried Chicken on a Cornmeal Waffle. Absolutely divine and you bet I wanted to lick the maple syrup-laden crumbs off the plate ... but held myself back. 

Googling a copycat recipe I can make at home, I came across this one from Epicurious, which solved a piece of the puzzle - the actual chicken itself. Loved it! Not an exact replica but so close. I couldn't resist modifying the recipe a little bit by adding some garlic powder and hot sauce to the mix. The chicken was moist and bursting with flavor, with a spicy kick. This would make an awesome app for a holiday party.



3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 cups buttermilk
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2"-thick strips
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2–3 quarts vegetable oil (for frying), plus more for brushing
2 firm, ripe California avocados, cut into quarters, skin removed

1. Combine garlic, buttermilk, hot sauce, cumin, coriander, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and toss to coat, then chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
2. Whisk flour, cayenne, garlic powder, and remaining 3 tbsp. paprika in a medium shallow bowl.
3.  Fit a large heavy pot with deep-fry thermometer. Pour in oil to a depth of 2"; heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°F. Reduce heat to medium and raise or lower as needed to maintain a temperature of 350°F. Working in batches, remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess, and dredge in flour mixture. Fry chicken, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with salt.
4. Heat a grill pan over medium. Brush avocado with oil; season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and arrange avocado alongside; serve with spicy mayonnaise or Romesco sauce, if desired.

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