Sunday, January 27, 2013

Recipe: Easier Fried Chicken

Based on a September 2010 recipe from Cook's Illustrated, also in Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, 2011, p. 326. Prepared for dinner on December 30, 2012. Serves 6-8.


3½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (split breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon table salt
1 dash hot sauce
3 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1¾ cups vegetable oil


  1. Trim the chicken pieces of excess skin and fat (a good pair of kitchen shears works well for this task), cut breasts in half.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  3. Add the chicken and turn to coat all of the chicken.
  4. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon paprika, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, and remaining cayenne.
  6. Add ¼ cup of buttermilk to the flour and mix it into the flour mixture with your fingers forming small clumps.
  7. With a rack in the middle position, heat oven to 400°.
  8. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 375° in a heavy skillet or dutch oven.
  9. Dredge the chicken pieces one at a time in the flour mixture forming a thick coating. Place the coated pieces of chicken on a plate, skin-side up.
  10. Cook chicken skin-side down until golden brown, 3-5 minutes.
  11. Flip chicken and cook until the second side is golden brown, 2-4 minutes.
  12. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until internal temperature of chicken is 175° for dark meat and 160° for white, 15-20 minutes.
  13. Rest chicken for 5 minutes before serving.
Trim chicken pieces of excess skin and fat.  (These breasts should have been cut in half.)

Soak chicken in seasoned buttermilk brine.

Prepare coating by first mixing flour with salt, pepper, and spices.

Add buttermilk and mix with fingers, forming small clumps.

Dredge the chicken in the flour and cook in a oil to until both sides are golden brown. (My oil was probably a little too hot.)
Cook the chicken in a 400° oven until done.

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