Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

It must be state fair season. I know this not only by the constant reminders by email to register for this years baking contests but I'm also craving fried foods constantly. My body just knows what's coming and wants it. And truth be told, I have no problem giving in.

I honestly can't remember if I've actually ever made fried chicken before. I've sure eaten a lot of it but just can't remember making it myself. Last year when I volunteered at a farm dinner event, one of the sous chefs had brought some of his homemade fried chicken and he shared it with the team. It was so flavorful and I think I've been wanting to make my own since then. I also had a bag of the new self-rising flour that I received from King Arthur Flour that I've been wanting to try and thought this would be a good experiment with it. And it was. This recipe takes some time but if you follow the directions, you'll have chicken that's full of flavor, crispy and moist and the true test; it's just as good cold as it is fresh from the fryer.

Of course the kids loved this and my two year old daughter actually ate more of it than I did. It was impressive. Cook up more than you'll think you need. You'll probably eat it all anyway, but leftovers the next day will make you happy you did.

Flavor Tip: Add your oil to the pan and then before heating it up, throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and sage leaves. As the oil heats up, it will flavor the oil!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3–4 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
3 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Peanut oil (for frying)
Whisk 1 Tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. Season chicken with spices. Place chicken in a medium bowl, cover, and chill overnight.

Let chicken stand covered at room temperature for 1 hour. Whisk buttermilk, egg, and 1/2 cup water in a medium bowl. Whisk flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1 Tbsp. pepper in a 9x13x2" baking dish. 
Pour oil into a 10"–12" cast-iron skillet or other heavy straight-sided skillet (not nonstick) to a depth of 3/4". Prop deep-fry thermometer in oil so bulb is submerged. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°. Meanwhile, set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet.

Working with 1 piece at a time (use 1 hand for wet ingredients and the other for dry ingredients), dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Dredge in flour mixture; tap against bowl to shake off excess. Place 5 pieces of chicken in skillet. Fry chicken, turning with tongs every 1–2 minutes and adjusting heat to maintain a steady temperature of 300°–325°, until skin is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165°, about 10 minutes for wings and 12 minutes for thighs, legs, and breasts. 
Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet, allowing excess oil to drip back into skillet; transfer chicken to prepared rack.

Repeat with remaining chicken pieces; let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.



  1. I love that you infused the oil with herbs, such a great idea! This fried chicken looks well worth the indulgence!

  2. This looks so good!! I have always love having buttermilk fried chicken.

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