Bon Ton Style Fried Chicken

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
Recipe by Brandess

From epicurious.com: Bilko's spice mix is a closely guarded secret, but Donna King, the restaurants cook, shared with us its fundamental ingredients as well as the basic technique — a long marination, at least 24 hours. This results in some of the juiciest chicken we've ever eaten. The chicken must also rest five or ten minutes after being dredged in the seasoned flour to, as King told us, "get doughy." The Bon Ton recipe calls for Ac'cent (monosodium glutamate) in both the marinade and the dredging mixture. We tested it with and without, and the chicken mainly tasted saltier with the Ac'cent, which some people preferred. The formula for this amazing dish dates back to the 1950s and a restaurant in Henderson known as The Colonel’s Lair. It was a favorite haunt of local high school students and it was run by a man named Bill Koch, whom the kids called Bilko because that’s the way he pronounced it. All who remember The Colonel’s Lair agree that Bilko made the best fried chicken anywhere. In the state where Harland Sanders began a fried-chicken empire based on the secret recipe he used in the kitchen of his service station/café, such judgments are not made lightly. Bilko is gone, but Bon Ton proprietor George Markham and his former cook, Donna King, managed to get the recipe for the amazing chicken; and now it is served every day

Top Review by mahubbard

I've been frying chicken for 40 years and have eaten chicken by others in that time, but THIS... this is the best fried chicken in the world! I can't begin to tell you how good it is. It MUST be made exactly as written. I can't stress that enough. Once you have tried it, you'll never make fried chicken any other way.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add chicken, making sure it is covered with marinade. Chill, covered, stirring twice, about 24 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together all dredging ingredients in a large bowl. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Dredge each piece of chicken in seasoned flour and put on a large baking sheet. Let stand about 10 minutes.
  4. Heat 2 inches oil in a wide 8- to 9 1/2-quart pot over moderately high heat until a deep-fat thermometer registers 365 to 375°F (Our pot was 12 inches wide and 5 inches deep; if you don’t have that wide a pot, you can fry the chicken in two batches.).
  5. Fry chicken, turning a few times, 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, then drain on a rack.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a