CHICKEN-FRIED CHICKEN WITH PURPLE HULL RELISH

CHICKEN-FRIED CHICKEN WITH PURPLE HULL RELISH

CHICKEN-FRIED CHICKEN WITH PURPLE HULL RELISH

Southerners like to call any pounded meat that’s been coated and fried until golden brown “chicken fried.” Pink-eyed purple hull peas are a type of cowpea grown across the South and are similar to black-eyed peas, only with a bright purple hull and pink eyes rather than black eyes. This is the pea I was raised on, served with a sauce of sweet stewed tomatoes and vinegar, but you can easily substitute fresh or frozen black-eyed peas (as shown in the photo). 

CHICKEN-FRIED CHICKEN WITH PURPLE HULL RELISH

PURPLE HULL RELISH
3 cups pink-eyed purple hull peas, cooked, drained, and cooled
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup diced red bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 small white onion, diced
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon whole-grain prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Southern all-purpose flour, homemade or store-bought (such as White Lily brand)
⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

CHICKEN-FRIED CHICKEN WITH PURPLE HULL RELISH

To make the relish, in a medium bowl, stir together the peas, vinegar, bell pepper, jalapeño, onion, brown sugar, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet until it is evenly ¾ inch thick.
Put the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, prepared mustard, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper in a large zip-top bag and add the chicken breasts. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
In a large heavy skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil over medium heat to 325°F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
Working with 2 chicken breasts at a time, remove from the marinade and immediately dredge in the flour mixture. Discard the marinade. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil. Fry, turning often, for 14 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and juices run clear. Maintain an oil temperature of 315°F to 325°F. Drain the pieces on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Serve with the relish.