Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

In the South, we know our way around frying foods. I fried all kinds of things alongside my parents growing up – shrimp, chicken, steak (though admittedly not one of my favorites), and catfish just to name a few.

My all-time favorite guilty pleasure, even as an adult, is chicken tenders. I know, I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I love this “kid” food. Up until now, I thought a basket of golden fried chicken tenders would always be a cheat meal. Not anymore!

20161018065853_IMG_1916.jpg

I pulled a few tricks out of my hat for this one – first, I did a double dredge to ensure the coating sticks to the chicken. [There’s nothing worse than a beautifully crispy coating falling off the chicken after you take the first bite.] Second, I did a modified buttermilk to enhance the flavor and help keep the chicken moist.

Let’s talk breading. The main source of crunch in this recipe is from parmesan cheese crisps. I grind them in a food processor until they’re the texture of panko breadcrumbs. Because of these, you don’t need a ton of extra salt, so be light-handed with it.

Another secret is that I always fry chicken (or anything else, for that matter) in my cast iron skillet. The major reason behind this is because cast iron keeps a pretty steady temperature without needing to jack the heat way up.

Let’s get down to the method!

Begin by heating the oil in your cast iron skillet over medium heat.

On a large plate, place the coconut flour and toss it with a few pinches of salt and pepper. In a medium-sized bowl (I actually used a pie plate) whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce. On another large plate, combine the crushed Whisps, garlic powder, parsley, paprika, scant pinch of salt (the chips are salty, be careful), and some pepper.

Set up your breading station as follows: coconut flour, eggs, then Whisp mixture – like this:

20161018_181141

Begin by dredging the chicken into the coconut flour, shaking off the excess, then into the egg/buttermilk, and finishing in the Whisp mixture. Press the Whisp crumbs firmly into the chicken, and again gently shake off the excess before gently placing it in your pan (laying it away from you). Depending on how big your pan/chicken pieces are, fry about 2-3 pieces at a time. You don’t want to crowd the pan, because that brings down the temperature of your pan and your chicken won’t brown.

TIP* I like to have one hand do my breading bidding while the other stays clean to flip the chicken without me having to wash my hands 50 times in between.

Cook the chicken for a good 3 minutes on the first side to achieve a nice, golden brown, then flip to the other side for about another 3 minutes to finish.

Remove the chicken to a wire rack over a large baking sheet.

20161018_182934

Terrible picture, I know. Blame my phone and dirty hands.

Trust me when I say THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT. This helps the chicken stay crispy, and it helps drain some of the oil off the breading.

You don’t want to lay the freshly fried chicken onto a plate or surface where it can lay totally flat with no air circulation. The first time I tested this recipe I made that mistake. NEVER AGAIN. No air = soggy chicken.

Lay the chicken onto a rack, and you can keep the prepared pieces in a warm, 200 degree, oven until everything else is finished.

NOTE* Don’t be afraid if your oil looks kind of “foamy” while frying. Mine has done this both times I’ve made this recipe, and I’m convinced it’s the coconut flour. It’s totally OK though! If your oil picks up some of the coating in between fries and it starts to burn, just skim it out with a spider or something similar.

20161018065858_img_1917

Oh. My. GRAVY.

This was 100% the best chicken I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was crispy, juicy, and flavorful. My kids raved about it too! [And with toddlers, I think we all can agree on how rare such an occurrence is.] Try it with some homemade THM barbecue sauce, Low carb Buttermilk Ranch, or Creamy Jalapeño Ranch. Delish!

Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken (THM S)

  • Servings: Multiple
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 lbs chicken tenders
  • 1 c coconut flour
  • about 2 c parmesan cheese crisps
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c plain unsweetened almond milk
  • scant 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 8-10 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 palmful (about 1/2 Tbsp) smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut oil for frying

Directions

  1. Add the vinegar and almond milk into a small bowl and stir to combine, then let stand for 3-5 minutes. This will act as your buttermilk.
  2. Place the Whisps into a food processor and pulse for about 1 minute. You want the crumbs to be about the size and texture of panko breadcrumbs.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet (I love cast iron for this, but a regular skillet will do. Just watch the temperature closely.) over medium heat with about 1 cup of coconut oil.
  4. Begin by dredging the chicken into the coconut flour, shaking off the excess, then into the egg/buttermilk, and finishing in the Whisp mixture. Press the Whisp crumbs firmly into the chicken, and again gently shake off the excess before gently placing it in your pan (laying it away from you). Depending on how big your pan/chicken pieces are, fry about 2-3 pieces at a time. Cook the chicken for a good 3 minutes on the first side to achieve a nice, golden brown, then flip to the other side for about another 3 minutes to finish.
  5. Remove the chicken to a wire rack over a large baking sheet.
  6. Lay the chicken onto a rack, and you can keep the prepared pieces in a warm, 200 degree, oven until everything else is finished.

Advertisements

10 Reasons Why You Need Cast Iron in Your Life

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

What’s all the fuss about cast iron? Are they really that useful? Are they high maintenance? What exactly do you *do* with cast iron?

I’ll answer all these questions with tips on how to make it last 100 years.

picsart_10-03-09-01-54

First off, cast iron is not a new thing. Grandmas in the South will tell you all about their cast iron that they received as wedding gifts 50 (or more) years ago. That’s the beauty of cast iron – when you take care of it (which is not hard, AT ALL) it will last forever.

These are my 10 Reasons Why You Need Cast Iron in Your Life:

  1. Cast Iron is non-stick. Season your cast iron with coconut oil, bacon fat, or store-bought lard and nothing will stick to those babies. Which also means you can use less oil when cooking.
  2. It’s easy to maintain. Most of the time, I can clean my cast iron by simply wiping it with a damp paper towel. Really, it’s that easy. However, for the occasions when there are some stuck-on bits from cooking, place some warm water over the affected area and wait a few minutes. Most of the time, water is enough to lift the tough bits, but if it isn’t just use a gentle plastic scrubber. Do not use soap with cast iron. I’ll say it again – DO NOT CLEAN CAST IRON WITH SOAP. Soap removes the seasoning, which removes the non-stick property. And, for the love, never EVER put it in the dishwasher. Just don’t.
  3. It holds temperature. Cast iron retains and distributes heat very evenly. That’s why it’s great for baking, frying, and searing.
  4. Iron is good for you. While cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, like some other coated nonstick cookware, it does fortify your food with iron. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, especially among women. Cooking food in cast iron will fortify your food with a small percentage of iron. Cooking something acidic, like tomato sauce, in cast iron will raise iron levels by nearly 20 times.
  5. You can grill year-round. I adore my combo cast iron grill/griddle. You can have the smoky, char-grilled  flavors of summer all year without having to step foot outside. Just like the skillets, the grill retains heat and you get the beautiful grill marks and flavor with less of the hassle.
  6. No more pancake accidents. I had non-stick electric griddles for YEARS. Then, one day I couldn’t get through a batch of pancakes because every. single. one. would stick to my griddle. I used oil, I tried different temperatures, and still would have at least half my batter in crumbles and pancake remnants. Then, I got my cast iron grill/griddle, and everything changed. No more burnt or sticking pancakes! I wish I had saved myself the headache years ago.
  7. Pass it on to your kids and grandkids. No joke, my cast iron pans will probably outlive me. Those suckers can take a beating! You can drop, bang, and even scorch them all you want and they’ll still come out looking perfect. It’s really hard to actually hurt or mess these things up.
  8. Cheap in price, but not in practice. You know those kitchen gizmos you get for cheap (as in very little money) knowing they won’t last? This isn’t one of those. Cast iron cookware is very affordable, and it will last forever (See also #7). If you’re the garage-saling type (which I am ^_~), I’m willing to bet you could find some cast iron pans for a couple bucks. People will toss perfectly good pans simply because they don’t know how to properly season them. Madness! (If you’re ever in need of re-seasoning your pans, check out this guide on how to do it.)
  9. It’s versatile. You can cook anything from bacon and eggs, to cornbread, steak, chili, stews, and skillet desserts. You can also use cast iron on any cooktop: ceramic, gas, electric, you name it. Also, how many pans do you know of that can go from the stovetop, to the oven, straight to the table? I mean, really I’m saving you from doing too many dishes, if nothing else.
  10. Iron builds muscle. OK, these cast iron tools are HEAVY. At the very least, you’ll build your biceps working with cast iron.

Now that we’ve established why you should have cast iron, you may be wondering, “What can I make with it?” I’m glad you asked. ^_^

Here are a few of my favorite cast iron grill/griddle recipes:

20161001211458_img_1691

And here are some for cast iron skillets/Dutch ovens:

Burgers:

picsart_01-11-10-32-56

Baked Goods:

20160914065415_img_1278

Meats and Sides:

20161025075732_img_1941

Soups/Stews/Chili:

picsart_12-13-12-35-21

Here are some bonus recipes from a few of my blogger friends:

Sweets:

Chocolate-Chip-Skillet-Cake-Main.png

Lunch/Dinner:

Chipotle-Chicken-with-Sweet-Potatoes-blog.jpg

Chicken-Enchilada-Skillet-Main.png

Do you have cast iron in your kitchen? What are some of your favorite  recipes using cast iron?