During the summer months when you don’t want to turn on the oven for risk of slowly baking yourself alive, frying is a great path to choose. A few weeks ago there were a couple of days that went by where my craving for fried chicken just wouldn’t go away. I don’t know about you, but such cravings pop up regularly in my life. Most of the time it’s just because I’m hungry and they pass after grabbing something to eat. Well this time I just couldn’t shake the call of the crispy fowl. “Aaron… cluck-cluck… Aaron…,” it whispered. My mind and stomach were growing weary of resisting the salty sensation, so finally I caved. The day this recipe came about also happened to be my turn to cook dinner for one of my friends (I actually think it was his turn, but I really wanted fried chicken and instead of arguing I decided to just cash in on my meal upon my return to NYC). With my desire for fried chicken and my friend coming over as excuses to slave away in the kitchen I was off to the grocery store.
Most of the time I’m too lazy to go through the extra step of marinading my chicken before frying it. In fact, this was my first time doing so. Even though my regular fried chicken is great on its own, I can’t deny the flavor boost that this recipe for buttermilk fried chicken provides. Plus, the result is crispier than ever! Frying in bacon fat may have also played a role in the additional deliciousness. (A neutral oil, such as canola, corn, or vegetable, is also suitable.) I can’t believe that some people make (what I believe are false) claims to not like fried chicken. What is there not to like?! I challenge those naysayers to try this buttermilk fried chicken recipe and walk away after just one bite.
- 8 to 10 chicken thighs
- 1 quart buttermilk
- ¼ cup hot sauce, such as Louisiana brand
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- vegetable oil or bacon fat, for frying
- Whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, mustard, and spices together in a large bowl. Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours to marinade.
- Whisk together all of the ingredients
- Dredge the chicken in Seasoned Flour and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes for the coating to adhere. (This waiting time helps with getting a crunchier skin.)
- Heat ½-inch of oil in a heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. You'll know the oil is hot enough when there's a gentle sizzle as you add the dredged chicken to the oil. (About 325˚F to 350˚F on a fry thermometer.) Fry the chicken until golden brown and fully cooked (165˚F on an instant read thermometer), 7 to 10 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels or a cooling rack.
By the time everything was ready, we were—mostly I was—too starving to let another second go by before stuffing my face. Therefore I have to admit that these photos were taken the next day. However, I will swear on the Bible that leftover fried chicken often tastes just as good as on the day it was prepared. Depending on how much bird you cook, there likely won’t be much chicken lingering in the fridge the next day with this recipe.
Note: This recipe has been updated from the original.