From the Chef's Kitchen: Fried Chicken

Exclusive recipes, shared only with Pittsburgh Magazine, from some of Pittsburgh's Best Restaurants and chefs. This classic chicken dish comes from the kitchen of Kaya in the Strip District.
Fried Chicken

photo by Laura Petrilla

1 chicken, cut into thighs, drums, wings, breasts
Brine (recipe follows)
Kaya Slaw (recipe follows)
Chipotle Barbecue
(recipe follows)
Seasoned Flour
1-2 cups buttermilk 
Peanut oil for deep frying
Fresh flour tortillas 

Fried Chicken
Day Before:
Prepare brine (see recipe). Immerse chicken parts in brine. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Day Of:
Remove chicken from brine. Discard brine. Lay chicken on a clean, dry towel on a sheet pan. Allow to dry completely.
Make Kaya Slaw, Chipotle Barbecue, Seasoned Flour (recipes follow).

Remove chicken from towel and place in a shallow baking dish. Cover to barely coat with buttermilk.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Prepare deep fryer — either a home fryer or a heavy-sided pot. Place a candy thermometer in oil. Bring to 350 degrees.

Remove a few pieces of chicken from the buttermilk. Toss in flour. Shake off excess. Place in fryer oil. Cook until chicken begins to float. You may want to turn it once. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken.

We like to eat the chicken with the tortillas by pulling some of the meat off the bone, placing it on a tortilla and adding Kaya slaw and chipotle barbecue.

Serves 2 big portions, 4 light portions.

½ cup sugar
½ cup salt
1 quart water
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns
2 whole allspice

Place all ingredients in a nonreactive pot. Bring to a boil. Allow to cool completely.

Chipotle Barbecue
1 white onion, chopped
1 7-ounce can chipotle peppers
3 pounds honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Tiny pinch of ground cloves
¼ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon ground allspice

Combine ingredients in a nonreactive pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Purée with caution.

Kaya Slaw
1 head cabbage
1 red-bell pepper
1 small yellow onion
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh horseradish
1 medium carrot
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Ground black pepper, to taste

Julienne cabbage, peppers and onions. Grate the carrot on a box grater.

Combine ingredients and dress with sugar, salt, pepper, white vinegar and citrus juice. Allow to stand for at least 1 hour before serving.

Seasoned Flour
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
¼ cup salt

Mix together.

2000 Smallman St., Strip District; 412/261-6565,

Categories: Eat + Drink Features