|Prep time||about 30 minutes, plus 12 hours of brining time and several hours of cooling time|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
The best fried chicken recipe, in my opinion. It takes a while to do the brining, but the end product is worth the effort.
You can substitute the buttermilk with 1 litre of regular milk plus 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, left to sit for 5 minutes.
- Large, deep pan for frying
- High temperature thermometer
For the brine
- 3 lemons
- 4 bay leaves
- 30g fresh thyme
- 30g fresh rosemary
- 75ml honey
- 1 bulb garlic
- 30g black peppercorns
- 150g salt
For the chicken
- 8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken – thighs or legs
- 360g plain flour
- 40g garlic powder
- 40g onion powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1000ml buttermilk
- Sunflower, vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying
- Start by preparing the brine – you might want to do this the day before, because it needs to be chilled before you use it. Half the lemons and cut the garlic bulb in half through the equator. Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to the boil. Let it boil for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat. Allow the brine to cool before using, then put it in the fridge and make sure it's completely chilled before using.
- When the brine is ready to use, add the chicken pieces and cover completely. Leave to brine for 12 hours – any more than this and it might start to get a bit too salty.
- Remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with kitchen towel. Leave out for 60–90 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Prepare the oil. Fill your pan with at least 5cm of oil, then bring it up to 160℃.
- Prepare the coating station. Combine all the dry ingredients except for the buttermilk in a large bowl, then split it into two smaller bowls. Fill a third bowl with the buttermilk.
- Immediately before starting to fry the chicken, dredge each piece in one bowl of coating, then the buttermilk, then the second bowl of coating. Place on a plate ready to be fried, and prepare a cooling rack.
- Lower the chicken into the oil, and keep an eye on the temperature – it will drop, and you want to return it to as close to 160℃ as you can. Leave the chicken alone for two minutes, then carefully move around a little bit to prevent sticking. Continue to fry for about 10 minutes or until ready, then transfer to the cooling rack. Keep the thighs skin-side up to help the fat drain.
- Repeat as required until all the chicken is cooked, then plate up, sprinkle with some sea salt, and serve.