I make thee best fried chicken. THEE best. Like, it’s not even right.
Here’s the deal. I prefer to use bone-in dark meat when I’m frying up chicken but skinless, boneless breasts work, too. Either way, you’re winning. You literally just won the fried chicken lottery. You’re welcome; I love you!
Now, down to business. The real stars of the show here are the corn starch & sugar. Corn starch is a great addition to anything fried. 1. Because it’s magical and 2. because it creates an amazing seal on the chicken, allowing the moisture to stay safely inside the coating while preventing the oil from getting in (no more greasy fried chicken, yay!). Okay, I lied, one more thing. Because the corn starch is lighter than the flour, it really lets the heat of the oil do it’s job, which results in not only a crispy coating, but also crispy skin! Crunch all the way down to the meat. Because who likes soggy skin, anyway? Scooter Pie sure doesn’t.
The sugar. Oh, sweet sweet sugar. It caramelizes. It adds another element of crunch. Your friends will say, “Look what God did”. It’s official: you can now run for President of the United States. Again, you’re welcome.
Southern Fried Chicken
- 4-6 pieces dark meat chicken, bone-in skin-on
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 4 tbsp hot sauce
- 1 tbsp Adobo (yes, the seasoned salt; it’s awesome)
- 2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- Love, as much as you can spare
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups corn starch
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Adobo
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp salt, Kosher
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (dried rosemary doesn’t work well here)
- Canola Oil (coconut oil works well here, too but let’s be honest, it’s not going to make this chicken any healthier)
- Split ingredients for the marinade equally between two bowls and whisk together. Add all of the chicken to one of the bowls & mix, making sure all the chicken is well coated & loved. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- In a large casserole dish or bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Feel free to adjust the quantities of spices to your liking. Remember, recipes are just a guide. Be creative. Alterations are okay with me.
- In a large non-stick pot, add enough oil to come just over half way up the side. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Non-stick?!!?! For frying chicken?!?! Because, cast iron, obviously. I feel you. BUT, two things. Cast iron is a royal pain to clean & I try and reserve its use for things that cast iron brings to another level. Like corn bread. Or cobbler. Biscuits, too. The second thing: you can pretty much guarantee that you won’t have to worry about the coating sticking to the bottom of the pan. That’s the worst. Do you see all the things I am doing for you in this recipe? Anxiety gone.
- Set a wire baking rack over a cookie sheet, set aside.
- Pull bowls of marinade out of the fridge. One by one, take pieces of chicken out of the marinade, shaking off the excess and dip into your coating mixture. Shake off excess flour and dip into the chicken-less bowl of marinade. Once coated, dip into the coating mixture again. Shake off any excess and place on wire rack. Yup, we’re double coating the chicken. We’re gonna double fry it too but let’s not jump too far ahead. The important thing here, friends, is to make sure that you are coating the chicken well and really, REALLY pressing the flour mixture into the chicken. We want it to stick. You can talk to your chicken too. Let him know you’re going to take good care of him. It’s the truth.
- Once all the chicken has been double-coated, stick the chicken in the fridge, uncovered for at least one hour. This helps dry out the coating, which will aid in the crispiest-fried-chicken-ever process. Discard the marinade. Adios, E. coli.
- About 20 minutes before you take the chicken out of the fridge, heat your oil until a candy thermometer reads 350°F.
- Set up another baking wire wrack next to the stove. You can place over paper towels or another baking sheet, whatever works.
- Once the oil reaches 350°F, gently place chicken into the oil. I usually fry about 2-3 pieces of chicken at a time, depending on the size. The important rule with frying is to not overcrowd the pan. The chicken is cold, it’s gonna mess with the oil temp a little. If it drops too low, the coating will start to steam instead of crisp. Coating will fall off the chicken and your day will be ruined. Also, don’t move the chicken around too much–this can also lead to a coating disaster. Let it chill. It’s in a non-stick pan so you can relax.
- Cook the chicken until it is a light golden-brown color. About 5-8 minutes, depending on size, & place on wire rack.
- Once all the chicken has been fried, add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, back to the hot oil. This is the double-fry I mentioned earlier. Cook 2-3 minutes more, until golden-brown and beautiful. Place on wire rack & let rest at least 5 minutes. To check that the chicken is cooked, insert a paring knife into the chicken and make sure the juice runs clear. If it’s red, the chicken needs to cook a little longer. No sweat, just leave it on the wire rack-lined baking pan and put in a 350°F oven for a few minutes more.
Serve with lemon wedges, hot sauce or pepper jelly…the options are endless. But, to be honest, it really doesn’t need a thing.