What is ‘Shake and Bake’ Hopped Fried Chicken?
Think classic buttermilk fried chicken that will satisfy the craft beer enthusiast, beer lover and hopheads! My recipe ‘Shake and Bake’ Hopped Fried Chicken plus off the classic fried chicken, but with a cooking with beer and brewing ingredient twist.
One way to ensure a moist, juicy and full flavored fried chicken is do first soak the raw chicken into a buttermilk mixture. I say mixture, as most recipes for fried chicken, just add the cut up chicken parts to buttermilk, without seasoning it first. By using a blender, all the extra flavoring ingredients are puréed together, infusing the flavor throughout the buttermilk, which tenderizes and flavors the chicken prior to being cooked. For this recipe I make a green buttermilk (dried hop cones, with complimentary herbs that support the flavors of that variety of hop). To get the most flavor out of the hop, I first make a Hop Powder.
How to Make Hop Powder:
Before you make Hop Powder, start by picking the right type of dried hop cones that you enjoy in the beers you drink. Hops not only add bitterness (a counterpoint to the sweetness from the malted barley), but also add other desirable flavors into the wort (or what beer is before yeast is added to the sweet | sugary solution that becomes beer, after the yeast have had their meal first).
Hops range in flavors from spicy (think peppercorn), earthy, dank (resin | grass), citrus (lemon | lime | orange | tangerine | grapefruit | tangelo | kumquat), tropical (mango | papaya | pineapple| lychee | passion fruit), coconut, wood (pine | cedar), floral (flowers like rose), to melon and stone fruit (apricot | peach | cherry). With the new breeding programs, hop growers are pushing the boundaries of hop flavors in new unexplored varieties. Check out Yakima Chief, Brewer Supply Group (BSG), Hopsteiner and my friends at Beer, Beer and More Beer to purchase hops.
Once you have your dried hops, add a small handful to a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder and pulse until a fine powder is formed. This is Hop Powder. It can be added to sugar, to make Hopped Sugar or added to other baking recipes, like bread, scones, muffins, waffles, pancakes and the like. Hop Powder can also be added to spice rubs and keeping the hops whole, making Hop Salt. NOTE: A little Hop Powder goes a long ways. Less is more in the Beer Kitchen. It’s about barely knowing it’s there, so that when you create a beer pairing, the flavors in the beers hops are re-expressed in the food, building that beer pairing. This Hop Powder will also help you learn how to cook with hops.
Salt, garlic, thyme, parsley and peppercorns and mixed with the Hop Power and buttermilk. This will create a green buttermilk, full of wonderful complimentary flavors that will infuse into the chicken as it marinates overnight and preferably 24 hours before being dredged in a seasoned flour mixture. The recipe below for ‘Shake and Bake’ Hopped Fried Chicken can be modified. Add lemon zest and juice, if the hop variety has lemon flavor notes, or add orange, grapefruit, etc… Adjust the herbs, to compliment the citrus, think rosemary (resin), sage or other herbaceous blend.
Now the “shake’ in the ‘Shake and Bake’ Hopped Fried Chicken. The dredge. To use more homebrew ingredients in this recipe I use malt flour. What is malt flour?
How to Make Malt Flour:
Place barley malt, for this recipe, I suggest a simple and easy to find malted barley, labeled as a base malt (2-row, pilsner) or a light caramel malt for a slightly sweeter finished flavor (such as a Cara 20,
Here are a few companies that sell malted barley. Barley is grown for feed (livestock, food (think pearl barley, purple barley and organic barley flour for breads, pastries and pastas, plus brewer grade, made for brewing beer). Barley is grown in many different states and countries, with different maltsters, who transform the raw grain into malted barley (washing it, sprouting it, then kilning it to a desired product ranging from a base malt, caramel malt, to a roasted barley used to make a rich full flavored stout). For a full list of malted barley varieties check out these websites for more information: Brewers Supply Group and Beer, Beer and More Beer
Place the base malt or pilsner malt into a clean coffee grinder, grain mill or blender pitcher and grind the malt into a fine powder. If you are making a lot of Malt Flour, and using a coffee grinder, do not overfill the grinder and instead grind several batches to make a cup of finished flour. This Malt Flour is mixed with all-purpose flour and salt, creating the dredge that the drained and still coated with green buttermilk chicken pieces are ‘Shaked’ with, sticking to the moist marinade and creating a crust, that will be fried in after this step.
A quick note on frying oil. Not all oil is great for frying at a higher temperature. As I mention in my Hot Oil Fondue recipe, it is important to understand the different smoke points in the varieties of oils available for cooking. The type of oil used for frying food is important, as it becomes the cooking medium. I suggest rendered fat over oil, as it has more flavor, the moisture has been removed and usually has a smoke point. My favorite fats to use are rendered duck fat (the most flavor, IE think duck fat fried potatoes or in this case fried chicken), rendered pork fat or beef tallow. For oil, it is important to understand the smoke point of a refined vegetable oil. Not all oils are equal when it comes to heat, as the oil can burn, denature and not be as good for you. I suggest Avocado oil (520°F | 270°C), rice bran oil (450°F | 232°C), refined peanut oil (445°F | 231°C) or coconut oil (450°F | 232°C). These oils have a higher smoke point or higher temperature, to prevent the oil from burning. Do not use canola oil, vegetables (corn safflower | sesame), extra virgin olive oil or other GMO oils that have high amounts of Omega 6, as they can easily burn or go rancid faster.
Serving Ideas for ‘Shake and Bake’ Hopped Fried Chicken
If you are a huge Chicken & Waffle fan, try my all time favorite waffle, the Liege Style Belgian Waffle or other Waffle Recipes. To create a unique sweet | spicy element, not quite a Nashville Style Hot Chicken, try drizzling the finished fried chicken in Spicy Mole Honey. If you are a fan of spicy chicken, while loving Mole, try tossing the just out of the fryer chicken in my Eat Beer Hotsauce | Nor-Cal Mole, for an added kick of flavor!
Instead of waffles, this recipe also pairs beautifully with Roasted Garlic IPA Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Purple Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, Garlic and Herbs, Honey Pale Ale Mustard Yukon Gold Potato Salad or other Side Dish Starch.
Here is a video on how to make ‘Shake and Bake’ Hopped Fried Chicken:
Makes: 1 chicken, 8 piece