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PICKLE-BRINED FRIED CHICKEN WITH SPICY WHIPPED HONEY BUTTER AND TANGY SLAW
Add the chicken pieces, shallots, garlic, dill and pickle brine to a large zip-top plastic bag or toss to combine in a bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk buttermilk with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Pour into the bag or bowl and evenly distribute. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours.
While the chicken marinates, make the Spicy Whipped Honey Butter: In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to whip together the butter, honey, paprika, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside until ready to serve, or refrigerate and bring back to room temperature before serving.
Once chicken has marinated, remove from the bag and discard the brine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and set the chicken, skin-side up, on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. Leave to dry out the skin and come to room temperature for at least one hour.
While the chicken comes to room temperature, make the Tangy Slaw: In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegars and honey and season well with salt and pepper. Add the sliced vegetables and pickle and toss to combine. Let sit for about 15 minutes before tasting and adjusting seasoning, adding more salt or lemon juice as needed. Just before serving, add parsley and dill and toss to combine, and adjust seasoning if needed one last time.
After the chicken has come to temperature, preheat the oven to 375˚F (190˚C) and set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet, set aside. Set up your breading station by whisking flour, cornstarch, onion and garlic powders, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. In another bowl, add the buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Place a clean baking tray or parchment paper on your work surface (this is where the breaded chicken will land).
Fill a large cast iron skillet with about 2 inches of oil (but no more than ⅔ full) and place over medium heat, aming for 325˚F (162˚C). While the oil heats, bread the chicken. Starting with the dark meat, coat each piece of chicken first with a layer of the flour mixture, shaking off the excess flour before transferring to the buttermilk. Turn to coat, let the excess drip off before transferring back to the flour and coating evenly, packing the coating on with your hands. Transfer the coated piece to the parchment paper and repeat with all the remaining chicken. Once coated, the oil should be up to temperature.
Once the oil is at 325˚F (162˚C), slowly lower the largest piece of chicken (should be a thigh or drumstick) skin-side down into the oil. Wait a moment before adding another piece of chicken, and be sure not to crowd the pan--this will be done in batches. Raise temperature for about 2-3 minutes immediately after adding the chicken, as the oil temperature will drop.
After about 2 minutes, begin to check the chicken pieces for browning and turn the pieces to rotate as needed, ensuring that all sides of the chicken turn a beautiful golden brown, about 8-12 minutes total. Do your best to maintain the oil temperature at 325˚F (162˚C), you may have to slightly adjust the heat often. If the chicken is golden but not cooked through to 165˚F (74˚C), place the undercooked pieces on the prepared baking sheet with a rack and put into the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces, sprinkling lightly with salt as soon as the chicken is out of the oil.
Once all chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through, let rest for about 10 minutes before serving as the chicken will be extremely hot. Serve alongside spicy butter and slaw.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT (if applicable)
If you have the time, move to the refrigerator and let the chicken skin dry out for a few hours before bringing it to room temperature.