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Classic Fried Chicken

  • prep: 45 mins
    total time: 3 hours 45 mins
  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces, or 10 skin-on legs or thighs
  • 3 cups vegetable oil

Variations

There are endless ways to customize fried chicken. Try one of these options:
Smoked Paprika
In Step 1, add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon ground oregano in buttermilk mixture.
Spiced Mustard
In Step 1, add 1 tablespoon ground mustard, 4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, and 2 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to buttermilk mixture.
Lemon-Pepper Garlic
In Step 1, add 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 3 lemons), and 4 garlic cloves, finely grated, to buttermilk mixture.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a wide, shallow dish or pie plate, whisk together flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer 1 1/4 cups flour mixture to an airtight container; set aside. In a large glass bowl, whisk together buttermilk, 2 tablespoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, then submerge in buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours (or up to overnight).

  2. Step 2

    Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees over medium (a small cube of bread should brown in less than 1 minute). Transfer reserved flour mixture to a wide, shallow dish. In batches, lift chicken from buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and dredge in flour mixture.

  3. Step 3

    Fry chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 16 to 20 minutes per batch, flipping once (adjust heat if browning too quickly). With tongs, transfer chicken to rack to drain, 5 minutes, then serve.

Source
Everyday Food, July/August 2011

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Reviews (4)

  • 24 May, 2012

    Love every video of Sarah's everyday food!!!!
    Will try this for tomorow menu..

  • 22 May, 2012

    Sarah, this is going to be my daughters favorite chicken for sure. I love to cook and you just put fried chicken back on my menu!!

    Thank you

  • 22 May, 2012

    Great demonstration video! I doubt I'll try this as I've never succeeded in deep frying. Plus, I can imagine the splatter factor. If I were in someone else's commercial kitchen, however....

  • 22 May, 2012

    Thank you Sara! Speaking as a fellow admirer of fried chicken creation, I think that your video is great. Can't wait to try your version. Your recipe saves me a step. My way brined and then floured, dipped in egg/baking soda mixture, floured again. Love the cornstarch added to the flour. I shared it to my always asking friends on facebook. I do think the Old Bay and hot sauce is a must!!