Maple Pecan Grit Cakes with Buttermilk-Battered "Hot" Chicken

By / Photography By Fred Thompson | April 01, 2015

Instructions

Marinade chicken: Combine buttermilk, hot sauce, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a large dish. Arrange chicken pieces in marinade and allow to soak for 2 to 4 hours.

For grits: Bring chicken broth, milk, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in grits and reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking, until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Add in toasted pecan pieces and maple syrup. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour grit mixture into a 9”x13” pan and allow to set. Once cooled, cut into large triangles and set aside.

For chicken: Beat the two eggs with water and set aside. Mix flour and remaining spices together in a large dish. Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk marinade, scraping off any excess, and lightly dredge in seasoned flour. Shake off any excess, dip in egg mixture, and then back again into the seasoned flour, creating a nice coating.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil to 360°. Gently lower chicken pieces into the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Turn and continue to cook until brown on all sides and an internal thermometer reads 165°.

Serve immediately with grit cakes and a drizzle of maple syrup on top.

Ingredients

Grits
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
Chicken
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite brand of hot sauce
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil for frying
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