Chipotle Fried Chicken with Cilantro Lime BBQ Sauce

Source: Verizon Innovation Center, Café Services (Waltham, Mass.)
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Main Ingredient: Poultry, Fruit
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: Four servings

Cilantro Lime BBQ Sauce rounds out the kick a chipotle brine gives this spin on traditional fried chicken. When plated alongside Yukon gold potatoes and fresh red and gold beets, “people really like [this dish] a lot,” says Stephen Rice, food service director for Café Services at the Verizon Innovation Center. “The trends seem to be that people are into hot sauces and healthier sides. So they still get the best of both worlds: that traditional fried chicken with a little twist and nice steamed beans, potatoes and fresh boiled beets.”

Ingredients

Chipotle Brine Mixture
2 qt. water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 fresh orange, peeled, sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup puréed chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
3 to 4 lb. bone-in chicken breasts, cut to 8-oz. pieces

Flour and Spice Dredge
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh cracked ground black pepper
3 tbsp. smoked paprika
3 tbsp. chipotle powder
Oil for frying

Cilantro Lime BBQ Sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 tsp. lime zest
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Steps

Chipotle Brine Mixture

  1. Add salt, sugar and syrup to water; stir until dissolved.
  2. Add peppercorns, orange, garlic and chipotle chilies.
  3. Add chicken pieces to mixture and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Flour and Spice Dredge

  1. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl until very well combined.
  2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry. Place chicken in flour mixture and toss well.
  3. Press chicken into flour dredge to get good contact with meat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then toss and press down again.
  4. Fill 12-inch cast-iron skillet with approximately 1 inch of oil and heat to 350°F. Place chicken in oil, skin side down, and cook for 10 minutes. Rotate breast to other side and cook for 10 minutes more, until internal temperature is 165°F. Remove from oil and rest for 10 minutes before plating.
  5. Top with Cilantro Lime BBQ Sauce (recipe follows). Serve with roasted Yukon gold potatoes, steamed green beans, and red and gold beets.

Cilantro Lime BBQ Sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Hold for service.