I love fried chicken: it’s a comfort food that makes me and all my guests happy. And this recipe is about as healthy as it gets. Enjoy!
- For the “buttermilk” brine:
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened cashew milk (it's the best of the non-dairy milks for this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 3 pounds whole chicken (cut up - ask your butcher to cut the breasts in half too)
- For the coating:
- 1 cup spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for finishing)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- safflower oil (for frying)
- Make the brine: Add the cashew milk and apple cider vinegar in a resealable plastic bag; let the bag sit open for five minutes to sour the milk. Add the paprika, salt, pepper, and chicken. Seal the bag closed and store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Remove the chicken from the brine and place the pieces in a single layer on the tray. Use additional paper towels to pat the chicken dry.
- Make the coating: Add the flour, salt, paprika, and garlic powder to a pie plate or deep dish. Stir until well blended. Press the chicken, one piece at a time, into the flour mixture: turn to coat the other side. Place the coated chicken pieces on a dish in a single layer, and let stand for 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step. Letting the chicken sit allows the flour coating to adhere well.
- Place a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of safflower oil in a deep skillet until the oil is simmering. Add the chicken, making sure not to crowd the pan (you’ll need to fry in batches). Cook each piece without disturbing it until it is a deep golden brown underneath, about 15 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until it is a deep golden brown and registers 165 ° F with an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove from the skillet and place on the cooling rack (this ensures a crispy bottom). Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Serve hot.