Chefs Leonard Schwartz and Michael Rosen use a secret ingredient in the batter for the crisp chicken drumettes at Zeke's Smokehouse: It's self-rising flour, which makes the coating as airy as a good fritter.
Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon harissa (see Note)
1 tablespoon pure ancho chile powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour or 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cups water
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 pounds chicken drumettes
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lime juice, onion, garlic, harissa and ancho chile powder. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt, white pepper and paprika and the cayenne. Refrigerate until chilled.
In another medium bowl, combine the all-purpose and self-rising flours with the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the water. Using an electric mixer, beat the batter at medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat 3 inches of oil to 350°. In a large sturdy resealable plastic bag, combine 1 teaspoon each of salt, white pepper and paprika. Add the chicken, seal the bag and shake until the drumettes are evenly coated. Dip 10 of the drumettes into the batter, then carefully slide them one by one into the hot oil, letting any excess batter drip back into the bowl. Fry the drumettes until golden and risen to the surface, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain the drumettes on a paper towel–lined wire rack. Dip and fry the remaining drumettes in batches. Serve the chicken with the chile mayonnaise and the All-American Potato Salad.
The mayonnaise can be refrigerated overnight.
Harissa, a spicy Tunisian pepper paste, is available at specialty food shops.