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Easier Fried Chicken

Easier Fried Chicken

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Easier Fried ChickenPoultry, Comfort Food

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  • cups buttermilk
  • salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • 3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks), trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • cups vegetable oil


Whisk together 1 cup of the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, the hot sauce, 1 teaspoon of the black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and a pinch of the cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat on all sides, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°. Whisk the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, the remaining 2 teaspoons of black pepper, the remaining ¾ teaspoon of the garlic powder and paprika, and the rest of the cayenne pepper together in a large bowl. Add the rest of the buttermilk (¼ cup) to the flour mixture and mix together with your hands until small clumps form. Dredge the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the flour mixture, pressing on the mixture so that it adheres to the chicken. Place the coated chicken pieces on a plate, skin side up.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°. Place the chicken pieces, skin side down, in the pan, and fry until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Turn the chicken over, and cook until golden brown on the second side, 2-4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer placed in the chicken reads 160° for the breasts and 175° for the thighs and drumsticks, about 15-20 minutes. Remove pieces from the oven as they reach the proper temperature. Let the chicken rest for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.

Specialty Equipment

Twelve-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven; deep fry thermometer; instant-read thermometer

This recipe appears in the following parties:

Picnic Perfect
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recipe type

Main Courses


Cook's Illustrated




Kosher v. table salt
We always use kosher salt in our cooking because its crystals dissolve better in water than ordinary table salt. However, kosher and table salt are not equivalent when you are measuring amounts for a recipe. To further confuse matters, different types of kosher salt measure differently. If a recipe calls for table salt (or just salt), and the amounts are relatively small (e.g., one teaspoon), we simply use the amount called for in the recipe. You can always add a bit more salt to taste. If however, the recipe calls for larger amounts of salt, as would be the case, for example, in a brine, then you should convert the amount called for. Most sources cite 2 types of kosher salt as being widely available: Morton (which is what we use) and Diamond Crystal (which none of us have ever been able to find.) In any case, to convert the amount of table salt to Morton Kosher Salt, multiply the table salt by 1.5; to convert to Diamond Crystal, multiply by 2.

Just another example of why algebra really is im