A simple spice-filled brine ups the flavor ante on this crisp and juicy fried chicken from Carolyn Bane and Erika Geldzahler, co-owners of Brooklyn restaurant Pies 'n' Thighs.
- 1 cup coarse salt, plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 (3 1/2 pound) organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- Canola oil, for frying
Fill a large pot with 16 cups water and add salt and sugar; bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring, until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer brine to a large container; let cool completely.
Season chicken with paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Add chicken to brine; cover and transfer to refrigerator for 24 hours.
Fill a large cast-iron skillet with canola oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Drain chicken and rinse under cold running water; dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Add chicken to hot oil and cook until golden brown and crisp and chicken reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt and serve immediately.