Berry-Jam Fried Chicken
The name sounds like a sweet-tooth parade, but this recipe makes sense when you pair it with a spicy scallion cornmeal waffle. Wells’ Restaurant, a popular 1930s Harlem supper club, cemented the chicken and waffle combination in American culinary history; Amy Ruth’s in Harlem, Beans & Cornbread in suburban Detroit and Hotville in Los Angeles continue that tradition. Almost any summer-fruit jam can be substituted in the marinade, and if you don't have peanut oil, use another oil with a high smoke point.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1large egg
- ⅓cup balsamic vinegar
- ⅓cup strawberry jam (or other summer-fruit jam)
- 2pounds large, thick chicken breast cutlets (about 6 pieces)
- 1cup all-purpose flour
- ½cup cornstarch
- 2teaspoons kosher salt
- 1teaspoon ground ginger
- 1teaspoon dried thyme
- 1teaspoon onion powder
- 1teaspoon garlic powder
- 1teaspoon black pepper
- Peanut oil (or other oil with a high smoke point), as needed (about 3 cups)
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- Scallion Cornmeal Waffles, or Bacon Cornbread
Step 1Prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk the egg, vinegar and jam. Add chicken cutlets, turn until coated, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Step 2Prepare the dredge: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch and spices until combined.
Step 3When you're ready to fry, add enough peanut oil to a large (10-inch) cast-iron skillet to form a layer that is 1 inch deep. Heat oil over medium-high to around 300 degrees.
Step 4Brush off any bits of fruit from the chicken. With one hand, coat each cutlet in the seasoned flour dredge. Set coated cutlets to the side of the bowl while you coat the remaining ones. Wash your hands.
Step 5Fry the chicken: Working in batches to avoid crowding, and adjusting the temperature as needed to hover around the 300-degree mark, place 2 to 3 pieces of chicken at a time in the fat. Using tongs, flip the chicken at the 3-minute mark, 7-minute mark and 8-minute mark, cooking until the chicken appears to float and is golden brown. (Each batch should fry for about 8 minutes total.)
Step 6Transfer fried cutlets to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and cook remaining cutlets.
Step 7Serve chicken on a scallion cornmeal waffle, if you like, or with bacon cornbread with Cheddar and scallions. Or, for a lighter morning or midday meal, serve with a breakfast salad.