Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Here is a basic yet delicious recipe for buttermilk fried chicken, with a crisp crust and luscious interior. Learn this recipe and perfect your frying technique, and then expand your fried chicken repertoire. Try adding some paprika or cayenne to the dredge, or a bit of hot sauce to the brine. And don't forget to drizzle hot honey over it all before serving. (To make one, simply heat a half cup of honey in a small pot set over low heat and shake in red pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce to taste.)
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1chicken, approximately 3 to 3 1/2 pounds, cut into 10 pieces (or use a mix of thighs and drumsticks)
- 3to 4 cups buttermilk
- 3tablespoons kosher salt, more as needed
- 2teaspoons ground black pepper, more as needed
- 1 ½cups all-purpose flour
- 3cups peanut oil, lard or a neutral oil like canola, more as needed
Step 1Place chicken pieces in a bowl and toss them with buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt and a healthy grind of black pepper. Cover and marinate for at least an hour and up to a day.
Step 2Combine flour, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper in a large bowl or, ideally, a paper bag large enough to accommodate the flour and the pieces of chicken.
Step 3Pour oil into a large, heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet with high sides and a lid, to a depth of a few inches. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
Step 4Set a rack on a baking sheet or tray. Place the chicken pieces in the paper bag filled with the flour mixture and shake well to coat, or toss them in the bowl with the flour mixture to achieve a similar result.
Step 5Shake off excess flour and fry the pieces of chicken skin-side down, in batches so as not to crowd the pan, for about 5 to 15 minutes, covered by the lid. Remove the lid, turn over the chicken pieces, and cook for about 5 to 15 minutes more, uncovered, until they are cooked through and a deep golden brown. Color is as or more important than time: Watch your chicken and get it out when it's golden brown.
Step 6Remove chicken to the rack to drain and rest, sprinkle with salt and serve warm or at room temperature.