I have no real credibility when it comes to fried chicken. And what I mean is, I’m not from the south nor do I have family from down south. There’s no story. What I can say is that I did a lot of research and went with my gut in determining what methods I would use. And while I did make this recipe for my husband, sister and brother-in-law, they are usually pretty honest about the results. They loved it, like were over the top in their reviews of this meal. Not a tough room but still. I’m happy I finally checked another item off my food bucket list. In my very humble opinion this chicken was perfectly crispy, very well seasoned with a kick of spice and so juicy we couldn’t eat it right away without scolding the inside of our mouths! We did good for a couple of Yankees!
📷 Photo cred to my awesome sister: Lisa Valerie Photography
- Chicken- I used 1 full chicken and added 4 additional breasts
- 4 cups or so of buttermilk- you need to reserve a cup or so for the batter
- Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, Denny Mike’s Chick Magnet seasoning blend – don’t be shy. Load it in there.
- 2 1/2 cups of flour (roughly)
- 1 TBSP each of:
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- baking powder
- 1/2 TBSP of:
- cayenne pepper (I did about 3/4 TBSP b/c I really wanted some spice to break through all the flavors)
- white pepper
- 2 TBSP corn starch (optional)
- 2 TBSP: Denny Mike’s Chick Magnet Seasoning Blend (this is optional but I didn’t have thyme or lawrys and bought this at Whole Foods so I tried it out)
- 1 egg
- Canola oil or whatever you prefer for frying
So, you have to marinate or brine the chicken in advance. How long and what method seems to be a never ending debate. In my case, I soaked it in heavily-seasoned buttermilk the day before. From what I could tell 4 hours would be the minimum but my chicken was incredibly juicy and so flavorful that I wouldn’t do it any other way the next time. You could taste the slight heat from the peppers in my chicken- not at all hot but like you need to drink water, but if you don’t like spice, maybe lower the amount of cayenne pepper.
Put your chicken in a large ziploc bag and add in buttermilk to cover it. Then add all seasonings and mix well. Let sit in fridge over night if possible.
When you are ready to begin, turn on your oil. It will take probably 10 minutes to heat up. I used a cast iron skillet.
Set up a container for your seasoned flower, a small bowl with a cup of buttermilk and whisked egg. You will dip each piece of chicken in the flour, then the buttermilk and then back in the flour.
The trick is you must flour and then immediately fry. You don’t want them sitting long after you flour them.
We did try just battering and frying and it didn’t create the “craters”, as my brother in law refers to them, to a satisfactory level. So after the first batch we floured, dipped in the buttermilk and then floured again before frying. Those had huge craters and ended up being the best of the chicken!
Make sure your oil heats up to 350 before putting your chicken in the pan. The larger breasts will need to cook for 10+ minutes and the smaller pieces more like 7 minutes. I flipped mine over half way through since they weren’t fully submerged.
Place chicken on a cooling rack over a tray to let your chicken cool without getting soggy.
We served ours with mac n cheese, cole slaw, baked beans and honey buttered corn bread. We also enjoyed some delicious cocktails of bourbon, fresh made lemonade, pureed blueberries and garnished with mint–a perfect pairing!
Look at those craters!!
If you have leftovers, heat it up in your oven so it gets crispy again. Enjoy!!!!
Also had to share a photo of our mac n cheese and corn bread because they were just that good. We couldn’t decide what was best on the plate because everything was so good.