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Recipe for Keralan fried chicken

EVAN SUNG

Serves 4

Asha Gomez, chef and owner of Cardamom Hill restaurant in Atlanta, was raised in Kerala, India. She serves her spicy fried chicken with fried curry leaves, which are wonderful if you can find them (after cooking the chicken, simply fry the leaves in the remaining oil till they sizzle and crisp). The chicken is terrific on its own, or with maple syrup left to infuse overnight with whole toasted cumin, coriander, and red pepper, as Gomez does. The chicken marinates for 24 hours before frying.

2cups buttermilk
10cloves garlic
1piece (2 inches) fresh
ginger, peeled
6whole serrano (or 3 large jalapeno) peppers, cored and seeded
1bunch fresh cilantro
1bunch fresh mint
2tablespoons kosher salt
8boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
Vegetable oil (for frying)
4cups flour
2tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1. In a blender, puree the buttermilk, garlic, ginger, peppers, cilantro, mint, and salt until smooth.

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2. In a bowl, combine the chicken and buttermilk puree; toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

3. Fill a large (12-inch), cast iron skillet with ½ inch of oil and gently heat to 350 degrees, testing with a deep-fry thermometer. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet.

4. Put the flour into a shallow bowl. Remove the chicken from the marinade, gently shake off the excess, and dredge each piece in flour. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin sides down; the oil should come halfway up the pan. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes on a side or until it turns golden brown. Drain the chicken on the rack and drizzle with the coconut oil. Adapted from “Fried & True”

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