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Blue Smoke Fried Chicken

Blue Smoke Fried Chicken

From: executive chef kenny Callaghan, Blue Smoke, New York City. Yield: 24 servings.

12 qt. vegetable oil
1 gallon flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp. cayenne pepper, ground
3⁄4 cup paprika
1⁄2 cup black pepper
* * *
2 qt. buttermilk
1⁄4 cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1⁄4 cup salt
2 tsp. black pepper
* * *
8 3.5-lb. chickens

In a deep, heavy 6-qt. pot, heat 3" of oil to 320°F.

In a non-reactive metal bowl, combine flour, salt, cayenne, paprika and pepper. Mix well.

In another non-reactive metal bowl, combine buttermilk, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Dip chicken pieces into liquid, and then toss in flour mixture. Shake to remove excess flour. Reserve on a sheet pan. Preheat oven to 200°F. Fry chicken pieces in a single layer in the oil for 12-14 minutes. The temperature will drop, so monitor it to maintain 320°F. Cover a sheet pan with towels. As you remove chicken pieces from oil, let them drain on a sheet pan. Transfer to another sheet pan and place in oven to keep them warm while cooking remaining chicken.