Crispy Fried Chicken
The double-dredge in this recipe is what makes the chicken so crispy. The trick is to make the first flour coating very thin.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 4-6
3½–4 pounds chicken pieces
1 quart buttermilk
½ of a head of garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole milk
3 cups peanut or corn oil for frying
Rinse all of the chicken pieces and trim off any extra pieces of fat or skin. In a gallon-size, sealable plastic bag combine the buttermilk, garlic, bay leaves, chili powder, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pat the pieces dry and nestle them into the bag. Remove any excess air and refrigerate overnight or for at least 3 hours.
Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and place the chicken pieces on the rack. Drain for 30 minutes. Put the flour in a shallow bowl. In a second bowl, whisk the egg, baking powder, and baking soda. Once combined, add the milk.
Place the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the flour and toss to coat. Shake off any excess and roll the pieces in the egg mixture with the other hand. Drain to remove any excess and place back in the flour. Toss to coat. Place pieces on the rack.
Heat the oil in a chicken fryer over medium-high heat to 360°F. Add a piece of chicken to the pan, skin side down. Add in two more pieces of chicken, waiting 1 minute between each. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until the bottom of the first piece is a deep golden brown. Turn over. Turn over the other pieces after waiting for intervals of 1 minute. Cook the second side of each for 6–7 minutes.
Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Wait for 4–5 minutes, or until the oil has come back up to 375°F, before repeating Step 4 with the next batch of chicken. Serve warm or cold.
Avoiding Dough Hands
If you keep one hand reserved for the flour and vow to not get it wet, and keep the other hand reserved for the batter and vow to not let it touch flour, you should be able to coat the chicken without letting the dough coat your fingers. Letting the chicken rest to drip off excess batter and flour will result in a thinner and crispier coat with less waste floating in the oil.