Woah. Just.... Woah. Holy moley, fried pickles are AWESOME. The crunchy breading combined with the warm, acidic pickles dipped liberally in homemade dill and chive dressing? DELICIOUS. I unabashedly ate a huge plate of these suckers instead of dinner, nearly made myself sick in an attempt to eat a whole jar's worth, and still went back the next day for a soggy fried pickle breakfast. Even without their crisp these things are disturbingly delicious, but fresh out of the fryer their flavor is unparalleled.
Here's what you're going to need in order to ensure that what you put in your face this week is better than anything you've ever put in it before:
A jar of pickles
panko bread crumbs
1.5 c buttermilk
frying oil (I'm a fan of canola or corn since they have high smoke points and are cheap.)
When you're breading and frying things, the best thing you can do for yourself is set up your station before you even get started.
In a large, deep pan, heat up about 2 inches worth of oil on just below medium heat. You can tell the oil is hot enough if you drip water into it and it crackles, and too hot if the surface starts to sort of ripple and look like... well.... oil. Kind of like the way an oil spot in a parking lot looks with all the waves. Trust me, you'll understand this description if you ever get to see it.
In a large bowl, mix together one part flour to two parts panko bread crumbs. Put this bowl as close to the fry oil as possible.
In the next bowl, beat one whole egg and 1.5 c. of buttermilk with as much hot sauce as you want. I recommend going heavy on the sauce.
Work smarter, not harder and grab a zippy big enough to put all your pickles in with some flour, with room enough to shake 'em like... well, not a polaroid. It doesn't make any sense to shake a polaroid.
In a space that makes sense for immediately depositing something covered in hot oil without letting it drip everywhere, grab a sheet tray and line it with a double layer of paper towels.
Now your station is set up.
Drain your pickles and pat them as dry as you can. You don't really need to try that hard-I certainly didn't.
Put your drained pickles in your zippy followed by enough flour to coat all of them, a good shot of chili powder, and a light pinch of salt. Zip the bag up and shake them like crazy until every single piece is coated.
Grab a strainer if you have one and dump the flour-coated pickles into it over the trash. Again... smarter not harder. Shake off as much of the flour as you can without taking it off the pickles.
Now dump THAT into your buttermilk mixture. You don't need to be elegant about this-I ended up dumping the entire batch in after those first three in the picture because laaaaazzzzyyyyyy.
With one hand, pluck a pickle from the buttermilk and drop it into the panko. Press the panko onto the pickle as firmly as you can to ensure it all remains coated when dropped in the fryer.
Carefully lower the coated pickle into the oil-feel free to use a skimmer or metal spoon if you're worried about getting splashed!
Cook the pickles about 30 or 40 seconds on each side until DEEP golden brown. Trust me on this-the darker ones were the tastier ones. Transfer them to the paper-toweled pan, and try to wait at least a couple of seconds before shoving it in your face.
Repeat as needed, and I recommend serving it with a dill and chive or ranch dip. (Which I already posted the recipe for last week!)
Try not to pickle yourself sick!
BONUS! If you hate frying things because it wastes so much oil, or you're not any good at it, or laaaaaazy, you can do the same thing in the oven! Just bread them all, throw them onto a lined sheet tray that's been sprayed with oil, and then spray the whole batch with more oil before throwing them into a 380° oven for about 45 minutes to an hour-just until the crust is crunchy but not so much so that the pickles are dry.