Episode 009 - Keith Heppler & Fried Chicken

Photo by Chris DePaul

Photo by Chris DePaul

Drummer Keith Heppler eats fried chicken and talks touring with Marilyn Manson, Dave Grohl, and vegan restaurant kitchens.


Recipe: Fried Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Puree, and Coffee BBQ Sauce

Serves: 4
Total Active Time: 2 hours
Helpful kitchen tools: Thermometer that can measure 300-375°F temperatures, electric hand mixer 

Fried Chicken

Overnight marinade
FYI, overnight marinades are never mandatory, but almost always helpful in getting you a better finished product.

4-6 skin on bone in chicken thighs
6 full chicken wings (get the “extended” wings that haven’t been cut)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme (fresh is better)

Once marinated overnight and you’re ready to fry, get a big heavy pot and fill up the pot with frying oil (canola, vegetable, peanut, etc) at least 3-4” up the pot. If you have a small pot or don’t have that much oil, you will have to fry the chicken in a few batches. Turn stove on medium high heat and get your dredging flour mixture mixed while the oil reaches 360-375°F.

Dredging Flour

2 cups flour
½ cup corn starch
Salt and pepper
Mix to combine

Preheat oven to 275°F. Take chicken out of yogurt marinade and lightly shake off excess marinade. Dredge well in flour. Once oil reaches 360-375°F, gently drop in hot oil and cook in batches if necessary, being careful not to overcrowd the pot with chicken. Thighs and wings usually take around 8-12 minutes to fully cook. I usually fry 4 at a time. Once the first batch is done, transfer to a cookie sheet, season well with salt and keep warm in preheated 275°F oven while you fry the other batch(es).

Coffee BBQ Sauce

Glug of olive oil or knob of butter
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika (smoked paprika is best)
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (look for ancho chili powder)
1 tbsp molasses or brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
1 tbsp mustard (any mustard will work depending on what you like)
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
A few splashes of fish sauce (optional)
2 tbsp coffee (leftover from the pot that morning is my style)
Sriracha or black pepper to taste

Preheat small pot to medium heat. Add oil or butter and saute onions until translucent, stirring somewhat frequently, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Add dry spices (paprika, cumin, chili powder or chili flakes etc) and cook the spices out for a few more minutes. Reduce heat to low and add all remaining ingredients. Keep on low anywhere from 10-60 minutes then TASTE IT. Everyone likes their BBQ sauce different so adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar accordingly.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half, outer leaves and woody bottom removed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
Salt and pepper
Hard aged Parmagiano style cheese (optional to taste)
Finish with 2 tbsp butter

Add oil to your frying pan and then place cut Brussels sprouts face down so they lie flush with your frying pan in the oil. Turn your pan on medium heat and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, checking regularly so they`re not burning. Season with salt and pepper. Once nicely browned, stir the Brussels sprouts around the pan, cooking other sides of the sprouts 5 minutes longer. Add your lemon juice and finish with butter, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Puree

2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp butter
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup milk
½ tsp chili powder (ancho is great)
½ tsp cumin (optional)
Salt and pepper

Preheat medium sized pot on high heat. Once water is at a boil, boil or steam sweet potatoes until tender, usually 12-15 minutes. Drain water and return sweet potatoes to the pot. Add butter, dry spices, salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break down the sweet potatoes until smooth, or I like to use a potato masher and finish with electric hand mixer to get a silky smooth texture.

Quick Christie Questions

What is your favourite, frequently attended restaurant in Toronto?
Paddington's Pump

What is your favourite restaurant?
BQM, Tortilla Flats

First intersection you think of?
Bloor & Lansdown

Favourite people to follow on Twitter?
I don't have Twitter

Best Canadian Rock Bands
The Arkells, PUP, Fucked Up

About Back of the House

Back of the House is a comedy and food podcast in Toronto. Host Mike Christie invites comics and entertainers over for a meal that has special significance in the guest's life and they discuss food, comedy, urbanism, and whatever's irking them in the moment. Remember, this is water and some are lakes.