Whenever I tell people about Whole30, paleo, and primal guidelines (and their differences), the conversation always rolls around to, “so if you get rid of all the good stuff, what is left?” Of course I cringe when people say “good stuff” when referring to Cheetos, Ding Dongs, and ice cream (though I DO love a good cup of gelato), but that is beside the point. What they are trying to ask is, “what do your meals look like?” I go on to describe some of my food: CLAM CHOWDER, BURGERS & GUAC, BRAZILIAN PORK RIBS, and BUFFALO RANCH STUFFED PEPPERS, just to name a few. At this point, most of the people are drooling because their SAD food consists of boiled chicken, steamed broccoli, and Lean Cuisines. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds gross.
And then…I bring out the big guns: I love to make fried chicken. The conversation usually takes a turn like this:
“You mean you can eat fried chicken?!” (at this point many of them sound like they’re wheezing through their drool)
Of course I can eat fried chicken. If I’m cooking with good ingredients, there’s no reason not to have fried chicken. Do I bread it in 20 pounds of flour? No. If I bread it at all (I often don’t), it’s usually with almond meal or cashew meal. But honestly, the skin gets crispy enough by itself if you’re cooking it correctly. So yes, you’ve heard it directly from me: I LOVE FRIED CHICKEN. I don’t make it all the time or anything…I mean, I have to be in the mood for it. But a couple times a month? Sure!
Fried Chicken (Whole 30 Compliant)
4 chicken thighs (adjust accordingly for however many pieces you want to make)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp mustard (as always, I use Dijon)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
4 Tbsp Kerrygold (or 2 Tbsp Kerrygold and 2-3 Tbsp lard)
1.- In a small bowl, whisk garlic, olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, and thyme until creamy.
2.- Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put chicken into a resealable plastic bag and cover with mustard mixture. Turn bag to coat chicken. Put in the refrigerator for at least four hours (up to 24 hours) to marinate.
3.- In a large skillet (this time I used a Dutch oven, it worked just as well), heat the fat over medium-high heat. Pull chicken out of bag, shake off excess marinade, and set on plate. Liberally season each piece with salt and pepper. When the fat is very hot (as in, around 350-360 degrees), add the chicken, skin-side down. Cook 10-15 minutes on each side (the skin will get crispy–try to move them around a little because they may start to stick), until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. If you get to the desired crispyness of the skin before the meat is fully cooked, place the chicken in a baking pan and put in a 350 degree oven until the meat is fully cooked.