Carolina Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
This chicken has a crispy outer coating and moist, melt in your mouth meat that is not greasy. This is the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. The sugar-and-salt-spiked whole-milk brine makes the chicken sweet and juicy; a mixture of buttermilk, flour, baking powder and baking soda yields an extra crisp crust. MAKE AHEAD: The chicken can be fried up to 4 hours ahead and reheated. WINE: A lively, fruity, low-tannin Beaujolais, such as the 2001 Georges Duboeuf Juliénas, has the fruit and acidity to contrast with the pleasantly sweet chicken. Recipe adapted from Dave Arnold's After Hours: Sundays at Seven.
- Ready In:
- 1 quart whole milk
- kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 (4 lb) roasting chickens, each cut into 8 pieces
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (aprx. amount)
- vegetable oil, for frying (about a quart)
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the milk with 3/4 cup of kosher salt and the sugar and stir over moderate heat just until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large, deep bowl and add the remaining 3 cups of milk. Add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 4 hours. Drain the chicken, rinse and pat thoroughly dry. If you family or guests are salt sensitive be sure to wash the chicken thoroughly and pat very dry with paper towels.
- In a bowl, mix buttermilk, eggs, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (or less, up to you - I use a teaspoon), paprika, hot sauce and pepper. Whisk in baking powder and baking soda. Put half of the flour in a large bowl. Working with a few pieces at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, tapping off any excess. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off; return the chicken to the flour and turn to coat. Transfer to a rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more flour as needed. If the flour becomes too lumpy, sift it.
- Heat the oil in 2 large, deep skillets until shimmering. Working in batches, add the chicken to the skillets in a single layer, without crowding, and fry over moderate heat. Cover for the first five minutes. Uncover and cook turning occasionally, until deep golden and cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes; an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should register 160°.
- If it's frying too fast, reduce heat slightly. If it appears to retain grease, slightly increase heat.
- Drain the chicken on wire racks lined with paper towels and fry the remaining pieces. Serve hot or warm.
- NOTE: the key is to cover in the beginning to start the cooking process inside the chicken, but to uncover during the last part of the cooking time to get the outside nice and crispy and golden brown.
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I only used 1 chicken, 8 pieces because it was only the two of us. The chicken itself was moist & delicious, but maybe I used too much flour & not enough seasoning in the buttermilk mixture beause I found it a little bland. I always use less figuring I can add but not take away. I will use this recipe again but kick it up a notch or so. This was my first time making fried chicken, so I'm sure it was all me!
Yesterday I had the joy of being able to make a Happy thirty first Birthday Celebration dinner for my youngest child. Thank you for your chicken recipe and thank you review writers for your good ideas. This review comes from everyone that attended this party. Due to a temporary health problem I cannot swallow so although I made the chicken I did not get to enjoy tasting it with a nice big crunchy bite. So dear hearts everyone truly loved the moist, non-greasy and tasty chicken (their words). After reading all the excellent reviews I added to the buttermilk batter a teaspoon each of: onion powder, thyme and Keens mustard. Oh yes I almost forgot instead of sweet paprika I substituted smoky paprika, sweet paprika is new to me but hopefully my husband will be able to find it before I make this recipe again. For a person who never did grocery shopping on his own for the last forty plus years my husband is doing a great job and is quite enjoying the task, I might just let him keep up the good work when I get back up and running again. He is not a chauvinist pig, (chuckle) now that he is semiretired he has a bit more time also I coveted the shopping task to be mine, part of my ?Loving To Cook? attitude. Also for what it is worth I used a corn oil for frying and I ended up having to use my large wok as one of my frying pans. To my surprise the chicken looked a bit nicer than the chicken cooked in the fry pan. Thank you and I will most definitely make this chicken again.
My family has been asking me to make fried chicken. I've made many different recipes over the years but haven't found the "keeper" recipe -- until now! The chicken was so moist and the coating was very crispy. i have never brined chicken before but it was pretty easy and I'll definitely do it again. The only tweaks I'm going to make is to increase the amounts of sweet paprika, hot sauce and pepper since we all agreed the coating was a bit bland and needed to be kicked up a notch or two. Other than adding more spices, the chicken was perfect -- a definite keeper. Thank you NcMysteryShopper for posting this recipe!!