Now Reading
The Regional’s Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken

The Regional’s Sweet Tea-Brined Fried Chicken

  • With a mashup of cultures and cuisines, Florida’s dining scene doesn’t disappoint. Now, you can bring tastes of it to your own dinner table.
Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Photo by Alissa Dragun Photo

As a three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South, Lindsay Autry knows a thing or two about good fried chicken. In her recipe, she adds her own take on the traditional favorite by infusing sweet tea flavors into the brining process. All you need now is a porch swing to enjoy your crispy pieces of poultry!

Regional Kitchen & Public House, 651 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561.557.6460; eatregional.com

Brine (if you have the time):

  • 1 quart freshly brewed tea
  • Zest of 1 lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 quart ice water
  • 6 – 8 pieces of chicken

Combine the tea, lemon zest, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat, add the ice water and cool completely. Submerge the chicken pieces in the liquid, cover, and refrigerate for 24 – 48 hours. A sprig of Rosemary is great in this too.

 

If you don’t have time to brine, season the chicken with salt on all sides and set on paper towels to absorb the moisture while you prepare the other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 8 pieces of chicken (your choice on the cut)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour; divided
  • 2 cups Wondra flour
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying

Method:

  1. Prepare 3 containers for your breading.
  2. Mix 2 cups plain all-purpose flour, buttermilk and whole eggs whisked until blended.
  3. Mix of equal parts all-purpose flour, Wondra and corn starch.
  4. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Coat each piece lightly the plain flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the buttermilk and egg batter, and finally in the breader.
  5. Pour the oil into a large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium heat until a pinch of flour sprinkled into the oil immediately bubbles or a deep-frying thermometer registers 325°F. Alternatively, fill a deep fryer and pre-heat to 325F.
  6. Working in batches, fry the chicken pieces, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for 7 minutes more.

If using a deep fryer, remove the chicken once it is crispy and floating. Let cool for at least 1 minute and return to fryer for additional 2 minutes. This will come out much crispier and ensures the carry-over cooking happens. The juices should run clear when the thickest part is pierced, and an instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

This recipe is from the 2022 Annual Florida edition. Click to read more.