Greek Marinated Fried Chicken
Although the method is very similar to the classic marinated and fried chickens of France, the marinade here has a particularly Greek aroma with its oregano, juniper berries, and coriander seeds. The marinade is also lovely on grilled chicken.
Serves 4 to 5
- 1 frying chicken, weighing no more than 3 pounds, skinned and cut up for frying
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled if dried, chopped if fresh
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- 6 juniper berries, crushed
- 6 coriander seeds, crushed
- Black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Olive or peanut oil (or a combination), for frying
- Parsley or fresh oregano sprigs and 1 1emon cut into wedges, for garnish
One: Wash the chicken and pat dry. Put them in a large non-reactive glass or stainless steel bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, wine, garlic, onion, bay leaf, oregano, juniper berries, coriander seeds, and a few liberal grindings of pepper. Whisk until well-mixed and pour over the chicken, fuming the chicken until it is uniformly coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate, marinating for 2 hours or overnight.
Two: Drain the chicken, pat dry, and sprinkle liberally with salt. Spread the flour on a plate or place it in a paper or large Zip-lock plastic bag. Fill a large cast-iron skillet with enough olive or peanut oil (or combination of both) to come halfway up the sides, about 1 inch deep. Over medium-high heat, bring the oil to 375°F (hot but not smoking).
Three: Beginning with the dark meat roll the chicken in the flour or drop it a few pieces at a time into the bag of flour, close the top, and shake until it is coated. Shake off the excess flour and slip the chicken into the hot fat.
Four: Fry until the bottom is sealed and beginning to color, about 4 minutes. Turn, and brown the second side. Reduce the heat to medium (325°F) and fry, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through and golden, about 15 minutes more.
Five: Lift the chicken from the fat and drain well on a wire rack. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the sprigs of herb and lemon wedges and serve at once.
Notes: The Greeks also half-fry and bake this chicken, which is a good way to prepare it when you have company or are preparing another dish that will require all of your attention. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Fry the chicken in step 4 until it is lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer it to a baking sheet and bake it in the center of the oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Excerpted from Fried Chicken by Damon Lee Fowler Copyright© 1999 by Damon Lee Fowler. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.