Bachelor's Honey Mustard Fried Chicken
On weekends, if I'm not at Amy Ruth's in Harlem, The Commodore in Williamsburg, or The Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's "regional American" brunch spot in SoHo, inhaling their cayenne-spiced bird with honey biscuits — then I'm at home in my 250–square foot shoebox studio frying up a couple of drumsticks, hand on hip, wrangling my dozen imaginary children with a pair of tongs, "SUPPER!" (even though it's always just me). Mind you, this is all in New York, proving that these days fried chicken is anything but "regional." But if for you locality is a guarantee of authenticity, then rest assured: I'm from the dirty backroads of Georgia, and my chicken is good.
1 pound chicken portions (about 3–4 drumsticks)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
10 dashes hot sauce
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups vegetable oil, like peanut or canola
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Honey, for drizzling
First, put the chicken portions in a large resealable plastic bag and bung in the mustard, honey, tablespoon of salt, hot sauce, and buttermilk. Seal the bag and massage the chicken in its flavorings, shmooshing everything around evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Add the flour, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, herbes de Provence, celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper in another plastic bag. Seal and shake to combine. Throw in the wet chicken pieces, seal, and shake again to coat thoroughly. Leave the bag open—so the chicken can dry out slightly and come to room temperature as you heat the oil in a high-sided frying pan. Preheat the oven as well, to 350 degrees F.
Test the oil by flicking in some of the flour mixture. If it sizzles up and disintegrates, then you're ready to go. If nothing very exciting happens and the flour just quietly melts into the oil, then wait a bit longer.
Fry the chicken portions individually or in pairs, flipping after 3 minutes and cooking for another 3 minutes (6 minutes total). Transfer to a baking tray lined with a wire rack. Drizzle over some honey and finish off in the oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve with lemon wedges and dig in.