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Spicy Fried Chicken

Soaking the chicken in seasoned buttermilk makes the meat tender, sweet, and juicy.

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June/July 1992

Ingredients

For the soaking mixture:

  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, slightly crushed
  • 2 3-pound chickens, cut into 8 pieces each

For the flour mixture:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat well. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight, turning chicken once or twice.

  2. Drain chicken in a colander, discarding buttermilk mixture. In a shallow pan, combine flour with remaining salt and spices. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture. Shake off excess, and set aside on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes.

  3. In a large, heavy frying pan with straight sides, heat a half inch of oil to 360 degrees. Just before frying, dredge chicken in flour mixture again. Add to oil one piece at a time to maintain a steady oil temperature. Fry 4 to 6 pieces at a time, depending on size of pan, without crowding.

  4. While chicken is frying, maintain a temperature of 320 degrees. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes per side, turning once, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees and juices run clear. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Serve hot or cold.

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