Told you more southern food was coming your way.
Well, technically this is Jamaican food done southern style, but still.
I am pretty much hooked on this whole southern thing. I seem to go through these phases, and currently southern comfort/ light and fresh summertime food is it. I am obviously very much enjoying this phase. Not sure how southern comfort + light and fresh summer food go together, but I feel like it’s a good balance of buttah and fruit.
Balance is the key here…
So this chicken is actually my first experience with making real deal fried chicken. I know it isn’t really classic fried chicken, but I seem to have a hard time sticking to “classic”. BUT, it is all kinds of fun and awesome.
Typically, I am not crazy about anything fried, thus my reasoning for not having ventured into the fried chicken zone. But lately I have been going through an “oh man, that would be so much better fried” stage, and I must say, I’m definitely having fun with it.
Also, the pickled pineapple slaw? Like 3x YES. Please excuse my obsessive use of pineapple and fruit in the coming weeks. With all this daydreaming of summer, heavy on the fruit recipes have been brewing in my head…which to me is a big TWO thumbs UP.
Ok, back to the point of this post, this almond buttermilk Jamaican fried chicken. I really do adore this chicken. I must say, I had a bit of a hard time eating any of the dark meat pieces and mostly stuck with the white tenders. I think there may have been some brainwashing that took place in my youth because I know I should be all about the dark meat, but in my house it was strictly white tenders. I need to snap out of it!
Regardless, it’s the flavors, the sauce and the slaw that really set this recipe apart. Go for whatever type of chicken you prefer.
Everything starts with an almond buttermilk brine. I know that may sound a little funky, but sometimes, all I have on hand is almond milk, and even though the grocery store is not a far drive, the thought of running to the store just for buttermilk is pretty much dreadful. SO I wondered what would happen if I made an almond milk style buttermilk. I knew it had been done before so I really was excited to give it a try. You just need almond milk and apple cider vinegar. It’s as simple as that, AND I pretty much always have both of those ingredients on hand. Nice!
For this recipe, I used Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend (it’s honestly my favorite!) and I think the hint of coconut goes incredibly awesome with the Jamaican flavors. With that said, I also think the plain almond milk would work equally well, just make sure it is unsweetened, as you really do not want any sweetness.
Ok so now I have to tell you about the spices and BBQ sauce I made. Oh my gosh. SO GOOD. The spice mixture gets added to the almond milk mixture and then also used to spice up a quick homemade BBQ sauce that you honestly cannot skip. I know hot sauce is more typical with fried chicken, BUT this BBQ sauce is everything, tangy, slightly sweet and all kinds of spiciness.
Seriously, guys the sauce is what’s up.
The other thing you have to make is the slaw. I mean, I know I am a bit pineapple crazed right now, but this slaw brings some balance to the fried chicken supplying it with some much needed healthier elements.
I know, balance again, but hey, I think I’m gettin kind of good at it…right?
So what do you think? Is this fried chicken summer BBQ approved?? It was definitely eldest brother approved…
Almond Buttermilk Jamaican Fried Chicken with Pickled Pineapple Slaw.
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper more or less to your taste
- 1 teaspoon all-spice
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup preferably organic
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2 cups [Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original Unsweetened* | https://www.almondbreeze.com/?navid=530]
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- canola oil for frying
- 2 pounds chicken tenders thighs or legs (I prefer tenders, but use what you love!)
- 2 cups self rising flour
Pickled Pineapple Slaw
- 1/2 a medium pineapple diced
- 1 ear fresh corn kernels removed
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 jalapeno sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey
- the zest + juice of 1 lime
To make the spice mix, in a small bowl combine the garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper (I used 2 teaspoons), all-spice, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
To make the BBQ sauce, in another small bowl, combine the ketchup, orange juice, soy sauce, molasses and 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice mix (start with 1 teaspoon, taste and add more if needed). Cover the BBQ sauce and store in the fridge until serving or up to 1 week.
In a large bowl, add the Almond Breeze and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar. Whisk in about 2 tablespoons of the spice mix. Add the chicken and make sure it is submerged in the almond milk. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight.
Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees F. in a deep heavy bottomed pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
When ready to fry, add the flour to a shallow bowl and dip each piece of chicken through the flour. If desired you can then dip the chicken back in the buttermilk mixture and then back through the flour for a double coating.
Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken in batches until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes, but this will all depend on the size of you chicken pieces. Serve the chicken with the BBQ sauce for dipping and the pickled pineapple slaw (below).
Pickled Pineapple Slaw
In a bowl, combine the pineapple, corn kernels, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper (seed if desired) and the zest of 1 lime.
In a small sauce pan, combine the apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar (or honey). Bring the mix to a boil, stirring often to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat and add the lime zest.
Pour the mix over the pineapple medley and allow to cool completely. Serve along side the chicken or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Minus the slaw, cause you know, he doesn’t do fruity. LAME.