4 Ways to Gussy Up Any Fried Chicken

July 29, 2016

Like every smart person, Julia Turshen, author of the forthcoming book Small Victories, knows that even if fried chicken can't get any better, it's still an ideal template for playing.

Regardless of whether you make her no-freakout fried chicken (that doesn’t use a whole vat of oil!) or any one of your favorite fried chicken recipes, Julia has very good ideas about how to give your chicken a whole new life. (Our thinking is: While you can eat fried chicken one night, and then cold leftovers the night after, if you make two batches and one with one of her variations, you get to eat a lot of fried chicken, all at once. But that's just us.)

Press play below to see how she spiffies up fried chicken—and read below for more details:

1. Use lots of cracked black pepper in both the buttermilk and the seasoned flour. Dust the hot fried chicken with finely grated pecorino cheese. Cacio e Pepe Chicken!

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2. Or add lots of black pepper and drizzle the finished chicken with maple syrup—black pepper and maple syrup are very good friends.

3. For a Mexican riff, use ground cumin and ground coriander instead of pimentón. Drizzle the hot fried chicken with some of the juice from a jar of pickled jalapeños and scatter with chopped cilantro.

4. For an Indian riff, marinate the chicken in yogurt (thinned with a bit of milk or water) instead of buttermilk and use curry powder instead of pimentón. Serve the chicken with raita and mango chutney.

This, and many other small-but-not-insignificant victories, can be found in Julia’s book.

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The Dynamite Chicken cookbook is here! Get ready for 60 brand-new ways to love your favorite bird. Inside this clever collection by Food52 and chef Tyler Kord, you'll find everything from lightning-quick weeknight dinners to the coziest of comfort foods.

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Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.