When my daughter first started living in Manhattan after graduating from college, my sister-in-law and I met her after work. She took us to Redhead Tavern in the East Village. While doing a bit of research for this post, I come to find that the Redhead Tavern closed last December. However, prior to closing it was featured on one of the earlier seasons of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Two of the things that Redhead was known for was their pretzels and beer cheese and fried chicken. While it doesn't have a thick exterior crust, I think the reason why I enjoy this recipe so much is the flavor that the chicken takes on from the brining. I have made chef Meg Grace's dry rub in the past, but have also used Williams-Sonoma's Quick Brine, which comes close to replicating almost the same flavor profile.
Most brines are done with a proportion of salt and sugar diluted in water. Other seasonings in Chef Grace's brine is garlic, peppercorns and rosemary. The protein sits in the liquid brine usually overnight so that the meat absorbs the flavors of the brine and cooks up moist and juicy.
If you are looking for another recipe to change up your basic fried chicken, may I recommend Redhead Tavern's fried chicken.
Super-Crispy Fried Chicken
Meg Grace, Redhead Tavern
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 quart water
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
4 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.