TODAY   |  September 13, 2013

Twist on fried chicken: Sunny’s sweet tea brine

If you’re looking to make your favorite comfort foods with a modern twist, “Sunny’s Kitchen” host Sunny Anderson shares a way to make a fresh version of fried chicken.

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>> we are back with today's kitchen. what's for dinner? we have classic favorites with a twist.

>> that's right. sunny anderson created delicious dishes for your family. they'll devour these things. her new cook book is sunny's kitchen. easy food for real life . welcome back.

>> thank you.

>> before we get to the food -- i want to get to this food. i love chicken especially. we were reading about your background. i wasn't aware of how many different kinds of lives you've had.

>> i've lived many lives. that's probably why i'm a cat mama. i'm 38 and right out of high school i went into the air force for broadcasting. i did radio work for some time and i lived in korea like good morning vietnam and then i just -- you guy versus my military picture up.

>> did you think we would ask and not show the picture?

>> so i went away and enjoyed my time in the military. did radio and new york hot 97.

>> but there was a love of food and here you go.

>> now you have your own cook book .

>> can you believe it?

>> you have ten different chicken wing recipe.

>> yeah, wings are the first thing i ever did on food network . lots of chicken wings but these are my fried three piece chicken wings .

>> you brine those though.

>> yes. kosher salt and sweet tea . soak it in the south. that's some water.

>> what did you think it was? vodka.

>> i don't know. it is sunny anderson .

>> drunken chicken . brining, if you're wondering what that is, it's just a marinade and getting flavoring in there and the salt is important because not only does it flavor the inside of the chicken but it plays it nice and moist.

>> that's right here and you pat it dry and what you want to do is start to dredge. i build a dredge in a paper bag. very simple. what's different with my dredge, it's not just ploflour, i add cornstarch to it. it makes it nice and crisp for you. add salt in there savannah.

>> a pinch.

>> just a little pinch.

>> okay.

>> some pepper. and the rule with chicken when you're frying is chicken is wet. add something dry. shake that up.

>> good one.

>> while she is doing that, we need to make the syrup.

>> i serve it with sweet tea syrup. very easy. i have sugar in here.

>> a lot of sugar in here.

>> yes, sir. reduce it down with a little bit of tea. that's lemon juice and lemon zes.

>> all of it?

>> throw the zest in.

>> okay.

>> you cook it down and then i add in fresh thyme.

>> to contrast the flavors there.

>> it is so good. then you go to go into the egg wash.

>> let's see if it's better.

>> so the egg wash.

>> get your fingers in there.

>> salmonella everybody. wash your hands always. so then after you're done with the dry, you go into the wet. that's egg, cayan, drop that into the oil.

>> not that one. this one.

>> that right there and what i like to do is let the chicken wait and hang out so put that into the oil.

>> stand clear.

>> clear.

>> like you're doing surgery.

>> thought it was going to explode?

>> about 15 minutes and it's done. i got that over here.

>> great recipes in this book.

>> thank you.

>> we love having you here.

>> congratulations.

>> y .

>> announcer: from nbc news, this is today's take with al roker , natalie morales , and willie geist . live from studio 1 -a in rockefeller plaza .

>> welcome to today on this