This recipe was created by Emily Ellyn. Emily is best known as the Retro Rad Chef from Food Network; Appearing on “Food Network Star,” “Cupcake Wars” and most recently as the winner of “Cutthroat Kitchen.” She’s also a culinary educator and food writer, who writes for “edible” magazine and is the Cake Genius at “Cake Central” magazine. When she’s not busy writing or lecturing, you’ll find Emily cooking up fun at food and spirits events around the world.
- 5 pounds (about 10 thighs), preferably bone-less chicken thighs
- 1 ¼ cup blueberry pickle juice, from our Pickled Wish Farms Blueberries recipe, or substitute dill pickle juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup Spicy Berry Hot Sauce, or substitute hot sauce
- 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- Brine the Chicken: Warm the Pickled Blueberry juice on the stovetop or in the microwave. Then, stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Pour the pickle juice brine into a large zip bag, add the chicken pieces, and zip the bag closed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 250℉. Meanwhile, line two large baking sheets with cooling racks and set aside.
- Once the chicken has brined, set out two shallow rectangular casserole dishes. In the first casserole dish, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and creole seasoning together. Pour the buttermilk and hot sauce in the second casserole dish and whisk together.
- Drain the brine off the chicken. Set out a metal cooling rack set over a baking sheet. One at a time, dunk the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour mixture. Place the breaded chicken pieces back on the rack.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan on the stovetop. Pour enough of the vegetable oil into the pot to fill it about two-thirds full. Turn the heat on medium to medium-high. Using a thermometer to monitor cooking temperature, heat the oil to 350℉ and carefully place four pieces of chicken in the vegetable oil. Use tongs to carefully move the chicken so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot while cooking. Fry for 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown and interior temperature is 165℉.
- Use the tongs to carefully pull the chicken pieces from the hot oil and place them on the clean rack. Place the fried chicken in the preheated oven to keep warm and crisp.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Place the second batch of fried chicken in the oven. Turn off the heat.
- When ready to serve the chicken, remove the rack from the oven and serve with Spicy Berry Hot Sauce and Pickled Blueberries, and/or create a delicious Berry Hot Chicken and Waffles.