This is the fried chicken that I absolutely crave. It’s crispy, juicy, and delicious! I came up with this method because I didn’t want to drop my chicken in the deep fryer, submerging it completely in grease. So I found a solution that makes it a little lighter, and a lot less messy. After battering the chicken, I quickly brown it in a skillet and then bake it. Setting it on a wire rack for baking is key—this helps the chicken get amazingly crisp!
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 3½- to 5-pound whole chicken, cut into pieces (or your choice of precut chicken breasts, thighs, and legs)
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Peanut or canola oil, for frying
- Put the chicken in a deep nonreactive pot or large glass bowl. Pour 3 cups of the buttermilk over the chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and thyme. In a separate shallow dish, combine the remaining 1 cup buttermilk and the hot sauce.
- Drain the chicken, discarding the buttermilk. Dip the chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture first, then dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour. Place the battered chicken on a plate and repeat with the remaining pieces. Let sit for about 5 minutes to help the batter adhere to the chicken.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a deep, heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, heat ½ to 1 inch of oil until it is 355°F to 360°F. Working in batches, add a few chicken pieces to the hot oil. Cook until lightly browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Bake until the chicken has cooked throughout and the juices run clear, 30 to 40 minutes.