Michael Symon's Midwestern Fried Chicken

READY IN: 2hrs 45mins


  • 1
    whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2
  • 6
    garlic cloves, smashed divided
  • 1
    small bunch fresh sage, leaves only divided
  • 1
    cup flour
  • 3
    tablespoons flour
  • 1
    cup cracker crumb, finely crushed (Ritz crackers)
  • 1
    teaspoon paprika
  • 12
    cup lard, 1/2 cup chicken fat or 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 3
    cups chicken stock
  • hot sauce, to taste (recommend Ardvark Habanero)


  • Season chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine buttermilk with 3 smashed garlic cloves and half the sage. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture and marinate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine 1 cup flour, cracker crumbs and paprika. Remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Warm a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • When pan is hot, add lard, fat or oil, and then breaded chicken pieces in a single layer (work in batches if necessary; don't crowd pan). Brown chicken on both sides until golden. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet with tongs leaving fat in pan. Bake until cooked through (12 to 15 minutes).
  • While chicken is baking, make gravy. Add remaining 3 cloves garlic and remaining sage to fat in skillet. Cook over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes until sage crisps and garlic becomes aromatic. Add remaining 3 Tbsp flour.
  • Whisk to combine, then cook 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in 1 cup chicken stock, whisking until there are no lumps, then whisk in remaining stock. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Strain into a small saucepan and check for seasoning one more time, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce, making it as spicy as you’d like.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest 5 minutes. Serve with gravy.