A friend of mine wanted fried chicken on cheddar jalapeno biscuits for her birthday this year. I don't usually fry chicken at home because it tends to get messy and not end up that tasty. However, this recipe changes everything. Brining the chicken makes it moist and flavorful, seasoning the egg instead of the flour is genius, and the paper bag saves a lot of time and messy hands. My biggest tip to the home chicken fryer is too have a deep electric hotplate that can self regulate the temp of the oil so you don't have to worry about it.
Cider Brined Fried Chicken
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup salt
3-pound bag boneless skinless chicken breast (thawed)
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 quart vegetable shortening or oil, for frying
Cut chicken breasts in half to make fist-sized pieces. In a large bowl, whisk together cider and salt until salt dissolves. Add chicken pieces and enough water to coat and soak for 1 hour or longer in the refrigerator. Chicken should be completely submerged in brine. In a large pot, heat vegetable shortening until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with a wire rack. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cayenne and black pepper. In a paper bag, shake together flour and cornstarch. Drain chicken from brine and dip in batches first in egg mixture then in flour mixture to coat. In batches, fry chicken until golden brown, about 7 minutes per side (14 minutes per piece), depending on the size. Remove from oil to drain on paper towel-lined plate.