- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
VariationsThere are endless ways to customize fried chicken. Try one of these options:
In Step 1, add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon ground oregano in buttermilk mixture.
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.
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.