Fried chicken and sweet potato fries

friedchicken7.jpgThis is not a particularly healthy meal, but it sure is delicious! Pre-cooking the chicken in the sous vide makes sure it's fully cooked but still moist and tender, and a quick 3-minute trip through the deep fryer makes it a little healthier.

I started with a 1.9 lb. package of local, antibiotic free chicken legs. The $ 5.87 package will make three servings, so that's not a bad deal.

I separated the drum stick and seasoned the pieces with salt, pepper, and dry rub. I then put the chicken in vacuum sealed bags and refrigerated for about five hours.

Heat the sous vide to 160°F and cook the chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When done, remove the chicken from the sous vide and let sit for 15 minutes. This causes the meat to reabsorb some of the juices that came out while cooking.

friedchicken4.jpgCut a sweet potato into French-fry sized pieces. Soak in water for 15 minutes to release some starch, then dry thoroughly.

friedchicken3.jpg friedchicken5.jpgPreheat the deep fryer to 360°F.

Pour about 8 oz. of buttermilk in a bowl. I used previously frozen buttermilk - I take whatever is left in the carton after making a recipe, vacuum seal, and freeze it.

Put about a cup of all-purpose flour on a plate.

Dip the chicken in the flour, then the buttermilk, then back in the flour.

Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes until crispy.

Normally when I make French fries I use a two-step blanching then cooking method which really is the best. Unfortunately I forgot that I had fries to blanch and set the deep fryer immediately to 360°F instead of 325°F. I just cooked the fries for 3 minutes at 360°F and they came out fine.

I really like the sous vide then fry technique because it makes very moist and not particularly greasy fried chicken. The only other way I'd make fried chicken is with a pressure fryer. I have a lot of obscure appliances, but a pressure fryer is pretty much only used to make fried chicken, and that seems ridiculous. And there is a certain level of danger having a pressurized vessel of boiling hot oil in your kitchen!