Crispy Fried Chicken

FRIED

I think it’s incredibly important to challenge yourself in the kitchen, and making fried chicken is a GREAT way to do so. If it means you’ll make your fried chicken-loving friend/spouse/partner/child happy, then it’s totally worth it. If it means you might not be able to button up your skinny jeans at the end on the night, then WHY ARE YOU WEARING SKINNY JEANS while eating fried chicken?? Seriously! You should know better. Think-elastic waist pants with a non-clingy dress on top. It’s summer.

fried chicken & honey!

Let’s get back to challenges! This one was a challenge. Not because the process was complicated (it’s really not!), but because I am always terrified to fry things in bubbling hot oil. I’ve been burned by oil countless times, due to my general kitchen klutziness and impulse to do MULTIPLE things in the kitchen while frying. Don’t be me. Pay attention when you fry stuff. Put blinders on and focus. Why? Because delicious Crispy Fried Chicken is worth the attention. Also it’s amazing with a drizzle of honey on top. Just saying…

And we’re off!

Hello, chicken.

starts with a whole chicken

Hello chicken in 10 pieces. You were rather difficult.

cut into 10 pieces

Flour & cornstarch with salt. In a pie plate!  MMM pie.

cornstarch, flour & salt

Put some aside for safe keeping.

pack some away for later

Hello, fantastic spice mixture & buttermilk. Next time I’m adding hot sauce to your mix.

for the brine

Let’s get you ready for your closeup.

SPICY

Dredge. Dredge. Get your fingers all gunked up. Don’t get that gunk on your camera.

dredge

Dunk. Soak. Brine for 3+ hours.

dunk. soak. brine.

Now remove piece of chicken. Shake off extra buttermilk.

pull out.

Dredge in the reserved flour/cornstarch.

dredge.

FRY. In batches. Place batches on a rack for dripping.

FRY

FRIED CHICKEN!!!

FRIED

Serve hot OR cold. We like ours cold.

fried chicken

With some refreshing Honey Rosemary Lemonade (coming soon!).

SUMMER TIME!

Iceberg Wedges with Gorgonzola Dressing! Brown Butter Biscuits love fried chicken!

fried chicken party!

Crunch. Crunch. Crispy CRUNCH. Chicken. Who are you calling chicken?

Crispy Fried Chicken

Serves 4

(recipe from Everyday Food Magazine)

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups cornstarch
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 chicken (3-4 lbs.) cut into 10 pieces
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper

In a wide, shallow dish or pie plate, whisk flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper together. Transfer 1 1/4 cups of the mixture to an air tight container; set aside. In a large glass bowl, whisk the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, tomato paste, smoked paprika and ground oregano together. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture and submerge in the buttermilk for and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment or paper towels. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil to 350F. Transfer reserved flour mixture to a wide shallow dish. In batches, lift the chicken from the buttermilk, letting excess drip off and dredge in the flour mixture.

Fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes per batch, flipping once. With tongs, transfer chicken to rack to drain, 5 minutes, then serve.

***Shutterbean Notes***

-My chicken was browning quick, so I pulled it out of the oil and placed it on the rack of the baking sheet in the oven at 350F and let it continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat reached 180F. (took about 10-15 mins)

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58 Comments

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  • June 29, 2011

    Yum! My mouth is watering now!!

  • June 29, 2011

    Oh, that looks unbelievably delicious! It really does!

    • June 29, 2011

      Thank you!!! It’s amazing. Really really.

  • June 29, 2011

    OHHHH EFFFFFFFF. This makes me want to cuss, but in a positive way. Hot diggity dang. I love fried chicken but reserve it for special occasions, like the one coming up this weekend.

    • June 29, 2011

      Fried chicken will make you cuss. It’s a fact.

  • June 29, 2011

    yummmmmmmmm. how is it that casey doesn’t weigh 5,000 pounds??? And how is it that i still haven’t made you cook me dinner?? I need to work on that.
    ;-)
    xo

    • June 29, 2011

      He has good genes. If I ate as much as he did, I would prolly be 5000 lbs. Not fair!! Come over for dinner. Let’s plan a night.

  • June 29, 2011

    whoa. not even sure what to say. that whole meal looks like summer picnic perfection. can’t wait to try this recipe sometime soon!

  • June 29, 2011

    I have the same fear of hot bubbling oil, but if this won’t help me conquer it, nothing will! The chicken looks phenomenal, lady. What a dinner!

  • June 29, 2011

    Oh I’m always so nervous to make fried chicken whole. How the hell do you know it’s done?! You can’t stab it or else then you get oil everywhere. Maybe I’ll take your challenge!

    • June 29, 2011

      Use a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken. If it read 180, it’s done!

  • June 29, 2011

    I can burn myself while making a sandwich and I once set myself on fire while making soup so I share your fear of hot oil. The results look so worthwhile though; I need to face my fears!

    • June 29, 2011

      I burned myself while draining boiled corn. True story.

  • Marci
    June 29, 2011

    OMG you are amazing! I can’t believe you even cut up a whole chicken!! The Col. Sanders better watch his back! ;-) I got a mini KitchenAid fryer several months ago in hopes of making fritters, fried cheese, that kind of thing, and I still haven’t worked up the courage to work with hot oil. But you have inspired me! I might crack it open. ;-)

    • June 29, 2011

      Ummm. MARCI. DO IT. If you have a fryer, you gotta break it in! Especially for the summer!

  • June 29, 2011

    skinny jeans have been warned….

  • June 29, 2011

    This is awesome and I fully support you on adding honey, although I do like my fried chicken hot with lots of honey. Oh, and a side of biscuits with lots of butter and honey. :)

  • June 29, 2011

    Tracy! Yum! This meal looks like one of those meals where you can’t even focus on conversation, all you can do is enjoy the delectable food! The wedge salad looks amazing. The chicken–perfection. I love it! Did you spike your lemonade later on?

    • June 29, 2011

      Maybe I did….and maybe I DID.

  • June 29, 2011

    Whoa! This looks lovely!

  • June 29, 2011

    I love fried cold fried chicken! It reminds me of summertime and boat picnics.

    It never occurred to me to tomato-paste-up the buttermilk! I just added chicken to my shopping list because I am going to make this! Genius!

  • Amanda
    June 29, 2011

    Beautiful. I LOVE honey with my fried chicken… but as incising as your wedge salad looks i gotta have me some cole slaw with fried chicken!! Biscuits are a must too… dunked in more honey of course! :)mmmmm summer.

  • June 29, 2011

    I think being from the South entitles me to fry up a few things now and then without feeling guilty, no?

    I’ve made fried chicken a few times and one of my favorite was one that used matzo meal (yes, I know – weirdish). i think the very best is when buttermilk is used, but the matzo meal was definitely a good change of pace ;).

    • June 29, 2011

      I want to be from the South!

  • June 29, 2011

    As if it didn’t look/sound good enough as it was, when you mentioned drizzling HONEY(!) over the chicken, that sent me over the edge. Crispy/salty/sweet… My mouth is watering. And that wedge salad – what a refreshing side to go with it; good job!! I can’t wait to try this myself.

  • June 29, 2011

    You just made me laugh out loud (nothing new). I, too, am sorta terrified of frying things. Most times, I wear ski goggles (yes, ski goggles) when I fry. Not a great look, but it works! Mmm, fried chicken…

    • June 29, 2011

      oooh. i need photographic proof of that!

  • June 29, 2011

    I’ve just bookmarked this recipe! Challenge accepted! I’ve actually never tried to make fried chicken at home, but this looks so tempting that I can’t wait to give it a try. Thank you for challenging me and sharing the recipe. :)

  • June 29, 2011

    I love honey on my fried chicken (and chicken nuggets :) or dipping it in good bbq sauce that has honey it! This looks fantastic!

    • June 29, 2011

      And honey mustard….how could I forget HONEY MUSTARD??!!

  • June 29, 2011

    Love this post! Hate bubbling oil…. you have me wondering if I should give it a try? Thanks for the inspiration.

  • jenny
    June 29, 2011

    I should not have read this before going to bed because now all I can think is FRIED CHICKEN FRIED CHICKEN FRIED CHICKEN. on the other hand, this will make for very pleasant dreams. yum!

  • June 29, 2011

    Amazing looking fried chicken. Love the double dredging and flavor-packed buttermilk soak. …Susan

  • June 30, 2011

    LOL! I love it when food makes me cuss.

  • Leah
    June 30, 2011

    Honey and fried chicken = l.o.v.e! I think the hardest part would be cutting up that chicken, I’ve watched countless episodes of Jamie Oliver explaining how to do it and it looks easy but put a chicken/turkey infront of me and it’s a disaster! But really… he makes everything look easy…*sigh*

    • June 30, 2011

      All you really need is a really sharp knife! It makes everything easier. YOU CAN DO IT!!

  • Jenna Meyer
    July 1, 2011

    Looks so good!
    I love the podcast this keep them coming!

    Speaking of honey and fried chicken, the Thomas Keller recipe for the Ad Hoc cookbook calls for a brine made with honey–it works great for “injecting” that honey flavor into the chicken.

    • July 1, 2011

      OOOOOH!! I have that cookbook. I’m gonna go look at it when I get home! Thanks for the reminder. Honey IN A BRINE sounds awesome.

  • July 1, 2011

    This is a different kind of recipe than any I’ve seen before. You’ve definitely tempted me to give fried chicken another chance (my first attempt was a little disastrous).

  • letitia
    July 5, 2011

    “If it means you might not be able to button up your skinny jeans at the end on the night, then WHY ARE YOU WEARING SKINNY JEANS while eating fried chicken??” -> BEST LINE EVER.

  • Katya
    July 18, 2011

    Tracy, this chicken was yummy!! Made this, along with other fried goodness over the last few weeks from your blog. My pants are busting open, but the weekend of this was SOOO worth it. If only I knew how to properly cut up a chicken so that I actually had decent cuts of meat to eat.. Oh well.. that’s for next time, then. Thx for the recipe.

    • July 18, 2011

      wow!! Fried Chicken, DONUTS, AND FRIES??? YOU DID IT!!! And now you understand why I can’t button up my fat jeans right now ;) If you go on google and search for cutting up a chicken, you’ll find EXACTLY what you need. That’s how I figured it out! Good luck!

  • July 19, 2011

    this looks so good! i LOVE fried chicken, deffo my favourite recipe of yours to date :)

  • July 20, 2011

    So, I made this along with the creamed summer corn, browned butter biscuits, a wedge salad AND rosemary lemonade tonight.

    Um.

    Seriously.

    There are no words, it was THAT GOOD. All of it, divine. Absolutely divine, if you can call fried chicken divine. Did I mention divine?

    Yes and amen.

    • July 20, 2011

      WOW!!! Mind=blown. I’m so proud of you!

  • OlenAmazing
    July 23, 2011

    This chicken has all kinds of crazy crunchiness going on! I used drumsticks, cause I own some pretty dull knives. Your recipe will coat approximately 13 pretty fat drumsticks. I wished I had discovered the recipe earlier in the day that way it could haved brined longer. I brined for half as long of what you asked for. It was still delicious though! I had store bought biscuits that I totally forgot to serve. Nobody missed them though on account of the distracting sound of crunching! Thanks for dinner Tracy! I may have to infuse some booze next!

  • Heather
    January 6, 2012

    Great crunch! I added 2-3 cloves of pressed garlic to the marinade though (I actually add garlic to EVERYTHING). I also added 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper to the dry rub for more flavor and 1 tablespoon of italian seasoning.

    I also didnt have a thermometor s I just put my skillet at medium and they didnt brown fast at all. they were perfect!

    • January 6, 2012

      Wow! Totally doing that next round! Thanks for the tips, Heather!

  • Caroline
    February 5, 2012

    Yay! I just made this for superbowl 2012. It was so stinkin’ delicious! I’m from the South, but I’ve never fried anything! Fried chicken is my husband’s favorite food… so in honor of Eli Manning (who went to Ole Miss), I made fried chicken and it was delicious! :) THanks!

  • Kim
    July 5, 2012

    Hi Tracy,

    I don’t normally comment but I had to since I made this fried chicken for July 4th…it was awesome. The honey was so good with it! I also ate it with hot sauce.

    I love reading your blog and listening to the podcast with you and Joy :).

    • Tracy
      July 5, 2012

      Oh that’s fantastic. I’m so glad I got you to try them!

  • July 16, 2012

    This looks and sounds amazing! I just might have to challenge myself and try this sometime.

  • Kath
    October 9, 2012

    I have never seen a fried chicken with tomato paste in the recipe. It looks good and I am going to try it even though I hate to fry! The only reason I hate to fry is cleaning the stove afterwards. A black enamel stove shows everything and grease spatters are the worst.

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