Voyageur Press, an Imprint of Quarto Publishing photo
Mimosa Fried Chicken.
You never know what you might encounter on Haywood Road in anything-goes West Asheville. Unless it’s a weekend morning—in which case it’s a given that a line will have formed out the door and along the side of Biscuit Head. Locals and tourists alike flock here for cathead biscuits, gravy flights, and an all-you-can-eat jam and butter bar, not to mention the fresh-squeezed mimosas and sake-spiked bloody Marys. Devotees are in luck: A new cookbook by Jason and Carolyn Roy, the husband-and-wife team behind the popular cafe (which has opened two additional locations since the West Asheville spot opened in 2013), reveals the recipes for many of their most popular menu items, from Mimosa Fried Chicken (printed below) to sriracha honey butter, along with some new breakfast favorites inspired by Asheville (like a biscuit infused with beer).
Makes 4 servings
This is it: the secret recipe for our fried chicken. While many think of chicken breasts when it comes to fried chicken, we say you can’t beat the chicken thigh. It is a more tender, moist, and flavorful cut—though if you really want to, you can substitute breast meat in this recipe. We source our meat locally and suggest you do the same. Antibiotic- and hormone-free chickens that have been raised the right way make a difference! As for the brine, don’t skip it. That’s the secret to infusing extra flavor and juiciness into the meat.
You Will Need
FOR THE BRINE:
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 cups orange juice
- ¼ cup champagne
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 quart vegetable oil (or however much it takes to fill your fryer)
- 2 cups Biscuit Head Dredge (see below)
- Mix together all of the ingredients for the brine. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved, then place the chicken into the brine and set covered in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, it’s time to pull out that chicken and fry it up! As a wise man once said, “Chicken ain’t chicken ’til it’s fried.”
- In your home fryer or a pot large enough to safely deep-fry, preheat your oil to 335°F.
- Note: This recipe (and just about any deep fryer recipe) can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. We recommend using lard if you go this route. Use enough so that the lard comes up at least halfway on what you’re cooking—the goal is to flip just once.
- While your oil is heating up, remove the chicken from the brine and shake off any excess liquid. Completely coat the chicken in the dredge by shaking the thighs in a doubled-up disposable plastic grocery bag. This is the best way to do it at home, because your hands stay clean, and you can just throw the bag away when you’re done.
- Let the chicken thighs rest for 3 minutes in the dredge bag, then give them one more good shake in the dredge to make sure that they’re fully coated. Now they’re ready to fry. Carefully place each piece of chicken into the hot oil and fry away. Cooking for about 10 minutes should get the chicken right where you want it. You are looking for a nice golden crust and an internal temperature of 162°F. Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a wire rack to rest a few minutes—serve it while it’s hot!
Biscuit Head Dredge
You Will Need
Use this to coat anything savory that you want to fry.
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ground smoked paprika
- ½ tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Sift everything together and mix well. Store in an airtight container for up to one year.
Excerpted with permission from Biscuit Head: New Southern Biscuits, Breakfasts, and Brunch (Voyageur Press).