Perfect Fried Chicken

Perfect Fried Chicken
Staff Writer
Thinkstock/iStockphoto

Others may have differing opinions, but this is what we feel is the perfect fried chicken recipe. We took all of the necessary steps, from buying the right chicken and brining it to carefully creating a buttermilk marinade and seasoned flour. It’s juicy, it’s crispy, and it’s delicious — it’s perfect fried chicken. 

Click here to see How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken.

8
Servings
1662
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For brining the chicken

  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/2 Cup salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 Cup paprika
  • 1 gallon ice water
  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken, back bone removed and cut into 8 pieces

For marinating the chicken in the buttermilk batter

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Cups fine cornmeal
  • 2 Teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 Teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 Teaspoons cayenne
  • 4 Cups buttermilk
  • Dash of hot sauce

For frying the chicken

  • 6 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cayenne
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Directions

For brining the chicken

The day before frying the chicken, prepare the brine. Using a large stock pot, heat 1 gallon of water to a boil and add in the sugar, salt, bay leaves, garlic, and paprika. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Add in the ice water and cool down to 40 degrees. Add the chicken pieces and brine overnight. 

For marinating the chicken in the buttermilk batter

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat completely dry using paper towels. 

Prepare the buttermilk batter by combining the flour, corn meal, salt, spices, and herbs in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk and the hot sauce. Place the chicken pieces into the buttermilk batter, cover, and refrigerate for ½  hour. 

For frying the chicken

Remove the marinating chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to frying. 

Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Sift the ingredients into a brown paper bag, if using, or into another large bowl. 

In a cast-iron skillet, heat 3 inches of canola oil over medium-high heat to 300 degrees. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk batter and let excess batter drip off. Place the chicken pieces into the brown bag, seal the bag, and shake for about 4 seconds to ensure each piece is well coated. If using a large bowl instead of a brown bag, coat the chicken pieces in batches to avoid making a mess. Place the chicken into the hot oil and fry until just golden brown, about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once all of the chicken pieces have been fried at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, heat the oil to 350 degrees, and fry the chicken until cooked through and golden brown, another 5 minutes. 

Remove and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease before serving.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
45g
64%
Sugar
17g
19%
Saturated Fat
11g
46%
Cholesterol
56mg
19%
Carbohydrate, by difference
268g
100%
Protein
46g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
245µg
35%
Vitamin B-12
2µg
83%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
10mg
13%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
49µg
54%
Calcium, Ca
325mg
33%
Choline, total
41mg
10%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
21g
84%
Fluoride, F
3µg
0%
Folate, total
536µg
100%
Iron, Fe
18mg
100%
Magnesium, Mg
124mg
39%
Manganese, Mn
3mg
100%
Niacin
20mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
3mg
60%
Phosphorus, P
1003mg
100%
Riboflavin
2mg
100%
Selenium, Se
98µg
100%
Sodium, Na
1460mg
97%
Thiamin
3mg
100%
Water
78g
3%
Zinc, Zn
5mg
63%

Fried Chicken Shopping Tip

Buy whole chickens and ask the butcher to quarter them for you. You will save an average of $5 per pound, or more.

Fried Chicken Cooking Tip

Wash everything that chicken touches with soap and hot water.