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Chris's Crispy, Crunchy Fried Chicken

To keep the chicken from becoming too dry, Chris Kimball, author of "The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook" brines the meat in heavily salted water for a few hours before cooking.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


  • 1/2 cup coarse salt (or 6 tablespoons table salt)
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano, or a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Peanut oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl or pot, dissolve 1/2 cup coarse salt in 3 quarts of water. Rinse chicken pieces, and add to bowl. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove chicken pieces, and rinse under cool water. Clear space in the refrigerator to accommodate a wire cooling rack.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, and seasonings, and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Shake. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, then whisk in buttermilk. Dip half the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture, then place in the plastic bag. Shake, and lay out on a wire rack. Repeat for remaining pieces. Put the rack on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably 2 hours, to set.

  3. Pour peanut oil to a depth of 3/4 inch in a large iron Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat.

  4. When oil reaches 365 degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, wait until the oil starts to smoke -- very hot oil is fine for this recipe), arrange chicken pieces in the pan, skin side down, and cover. After 5 minutes, remove the cover. Adjust heat level, if necessary, so oil bubbles at a moderate pace -- not too rapidly and not too slowly (medium to medium-high heat is best, depending on the heat conductivity of your pan). Rearrange pieces if some are browning more quickly than others. After 5 more minutes, turn the pieces over. Cook uncovered for 8 to 10 more minutes or until done. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash and dry the wire rack.

  5. Remove the fried chicken to cleaned wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let drain for 5 minutes, and serve.

Reviews (2)

  • Hatfield7 11 Jun, 2012

    This is a wonderful recipe, I have been making this chicken since this show aired on Martha back in the ninties. It is the most delicious chicken you can taste, if you coat the chicken and leave it over night it is realy moist as Chris tell you. Great Farmhouse Chicken

  • wilsongibbons1 30 Jul, 2011

    This is my favorite fried chicken recipe. I made it for a picnic at Tanglewood (James Taylor Concert!). The brining makes it really moist, the spices are perfect, and it it not at all oily. Really, really yummy!

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