fried chicken

after a bit of a life imposed hiatus, i thought it only fitting to come back with a recipe that embodies summertime and would, hopefully, get me back in your good graces. please forgive my absence and let’s get cooking again! nothing says “it’s summer time” quite like a big plate of fried chicken. i’ve been making this recipe for some time now, but it took a lot of experimenting and testing different fried chicken theories to finally come up with a recipe that has all the fried chicken bases covered. what are the fried chicken bases you ask? they are… juiciness, crispiness, flavor, and crust to chicken ratio. they are all equally important and when you hit all four, it is fried chicken nirvana! go forth and fry!

fried chicken
makes 20 pieces

10 chicken drumsticks
10 chicken thighs
(i like to use dark meat for fried chicken. i find that it stays juicier and cooks a little faster. you can use breasts if you like, just cook 2 minutes longer)
1 cup kosher salt
2 quarts water
1 quart buttermilk
4 cups flour
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 quart canola oil

start by combining the kosher salt and water in a container large enough to hold all the chicken pieces. let the salt dissolve, add the chicken, and allow to brine in the fridge over night. in the morning, pour out the salt water and cover the chicken with the buttermilk. (don’t rinse the chicken please! i promise the chicken won’t be salty.) put the chicken and buttermilk back in the fridge for the rest of the day (or at least 4 hours). let the chicken and buttermilk come to room temperature before you start breading and frying. (take it out of the fridge about an hour before you start heating your oil.) 

in a large heavy bottomed pot, start heating your oil to 375 degrees. use a frying/candy thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. this is a really important step. frying is all about temperature! you can pick up one of these thermometers in the meat department of your grocery store for about 8 bucks. money well spent!
while your oil is heating (this will take about 15 minutes) combine the flour,garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a brown grocery bag. make sure the flour and spices are well mixed. take your chicken pieces out of the buttermilk and add them to the bag. shake well until the chicken is well coated.

to make life easier, cut the bag in half so you can get to your chicken pieces without covering your kitchen in flour! leave the chicken in the flour until your oil is heated.

when your oil has reached 375 degrees, lay your floured chicken out next to your frying station and start carefully lowering your coated chicken into the oil. (i use a spider for this step) fry 4 to 5 pieces of chicken at a time depending on the size of your pot. you don’t want to over-crowd your pan. the oil should go down to about 325-350 degrees. keep an eye on the temp and raise or lower the heat as needed.

fry your chicken for 13 minutes and remove to a wire rack placed on top of more brown grocery bags. the bags will absorb the oil and the chicken will stay nice and crispy. continue frying in batches until all the chicken is done. move chicken to a big platter and serve.

this recipe produces chicken that definitely covers all those important fried chicken bases. it’s best served hot or at room temperature. if you end up with left-overs, cool the chicken completely and store in the fridge. i’m a huge fan of cold fried chicken for breakfast. don’t knock it ’til you try it!

About jentarantino

i went to culinary school back in the mid 90's where i soon discovered that most of my favorite things to eat begin with celery, carrots and onions; or at the very least, one of the three. i cooked professionally for a very short time, but never stopped being a "home cook". i used the skills i acquired in school to teach myself to bake and kept up on food trends by becoming addicted to cooking shows and food magazines. i will eventually open my own soup shop, but until that happens, this blog will be my culinary outlet. i hope it inspires you to... stand lovingly over a simmering pot, wait anxiously for rising bread dough, frost cupcakes with care, marinate, brine, and most importantly... make it yourself!
This entry was posted in meat dishes, poultry, recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to fried chicken

  1. Love the pics…crispy fried chicken…looks good!!!!

  2. George says:

    thanks for the awesome inspiration, kiddo… i made this on Saturday for Eli with a few mods to make it both dairy-free (used rice milk) and gluten-free (Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose flower). Definitely not as tasty as the original, but pretty good nonetheless!!

  3. libby says:

    i cannot wait to try this one!

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