This recipe calls for soaking the brining the chicken pieces in a buttermilk brine, cooking on the stovetop and then finishing in an oven set on high heat. Buttermilk is not an everyday food item in our home, although we have heard that some folks enjoy it regularly. It’s sometimes available fresh in the dairy section of our local supermarket, but tends to be costly and would spoil before we used it all. Here’s a great substitute, we found in the baking products aisle – powdered buttermilk. Mix with water as needed; refrigerate after opening and it lasts longer than fresh.
Crispy Fried (& Baked) Chicken
If you prefer, a 4 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces can be used instead of chicken parts; also skinless chicken pieces, but the meat will come out drier. Skin-on chicken pieces work best for this recipe. After all – what’s fried chicken without the crispy topping?
- 3 ½ lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken parts, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 ¼ C buttermilk
- Table salt
- Dash hot sauce
- 3 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika (smoked is best)
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 C unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ¾ C vegetable oil
- Whisk 1 C buttermilk, 1 tbsp salt, hot sauce, 1 tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp paprika, pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°.
- Whisk flour, baking power, 1 tsp salt, and remaining 2 tsp black pepper, ¾ tsp garlic powder, ¾ tsp paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining ¼ C buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge pieces in flour mixture, pressing onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.
- Heat oil in 11-inch straight sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down and cook 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Carefully flip and cook until golden brown on second side.
- Transfer chicken to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken 15-20 min.until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part reads 160° for breasts, 175° for legs and thighs.
- Remove pieces from oven as they reach correct temperature. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.