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How to Make PERFECT Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

How to Make Fried Chicken with a step-by-step video. This fried chicken is perfectly moist and juicy inside and ultra crisp and crunchy on the outside. Perfection!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Yields: 4 to 5 servings
Recipe by Tessa Arias

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 12 chicken parts (I use drumsticks and thighs)
  • 1/4 cup table salt (NOT kosher salt)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • Tabasco sauce

For coating and frying:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 cups peanut oil for frying

Directions

  1. Place the chicken in a large non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper and toss to coat. Add in the garlic cloves, crumbled bay leaves, buttermilk, and a few splashes of Tabasco sauce (just enough to color the buttermilk). Stir, making sure the chicken is immersed, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 2 to 3 hours. If time permits, remove the chicken from the brine, shaking off any excess, and place it in a single layer on a large wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours to help make the crust more crisp, flaky, and shattery. The chicken can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 6 hours longer. Bring to room temperature before coating and frying.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven (should be about 3 inches deep) to 350°F. While the oil heats, reheat the oven to 200°F. Place a second wire rack over a second rimmed baking sheet and place it inside the oven. Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cayenne, and onion powder. Place a paper bag inside another paper bag and transfer the flour mixture into it. Shake each chicken piece, one at a time, in the paper bag until completely coated in flour. Return the chicken to the wire rack.
  4. Place half of the chicken pieces, skin side down, in the oil and cover. Fry until deep golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. The oil should drop down to 325°F, adjust the burner if necessary to maintain that temperature. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue to fry, uncovered, until deep golden brown on the other side, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to the paper towel-lined plate. Let stand for 2 minutes to drain then transfer to the rack in the warm oven.
  5. Return the oil to 375°F and place new paper towels on the plate and repeat the procedure with the remaining chicken.