Louisiana? Kentucky? Southern? It’s crispy and delicious… does anything else matter?
Today we’re sharing our crispy deep fried chicken recipe with you. Along with the recipe, we also share some “gotchas” and tips to help make your fried chicken experience an easy and satisfying one.
As we mentioned in a previous post, we don’t deep fry a lot, but when our friends at Breville sent us the Smart Fryer™, I immediately had a list of things I wanted to try. Chicken is such an iconic deep fried food in North America and it was at the top of my list of things to cook in my new fryer.
Is cooking fried chicken difficult? It’s actually not.
If you’ve never fried chicken before, there are definitely a few things to know before you get started, but none of it is rocket science… I promise. By following the tips we share here, your chicken will come out delicious, golden brown, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
I’ve broken down the recipe below into what I hope is an informative list of steps, details and notes that should help you cook perfect fried chicken. Here are some highlights (see recipe and recipe notes for specific details):
- Don’t let your oil get too hot. It’ll burn the skin before the chicken is cooked on the inside.
- Don’t cook with oil that isn’t hot enough. The skin will be soggy.
- Double coat the chicken in the seasoned flour for extra crispy skin
- Let the chicken pieces soak in a buttermilk marinade for at least 4 hours. This will tenderize the chicken.
- Once your chicken is cooked, place it on a cooling rack over a baking sheet to keep it extra crispy. Placing it on paper towels can make the skin soggy.
- Don’t over-crowd the chicken while cooking it. Do multiple small batches, if necessary.
- Keep the finished chicken in the oven at 200 ºF to keep it hot until all the chicken is cooked
- Feel free to play around with the spice quantities. Like it hot? Add some cayenne… Like garlic? Load up the garlic powder. Nothing’s set in stone, and you can definitely make it your own.
Liz missed out 🙁
Unfortunately Liz was away on a business trip and missed out on our fried chicken extravaganza. I guess we’ll have to do this again sometime soon. If you’re a fan of restaurant fried chicken, give our recipe a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Now go fry something (but not too often cause it’s obviously not healthy to make it everyday). And remember to always eat well, friends.
Crispy Restaurant-style Fried Chicken
- 2.85 lbs (about 1.3 kg) whole chicken (or chicken pieces). This is a small chicken.
- 4.23 quarts (4 litres) vegetable oil for deep frying
- 2 cups buttermilk (shaken)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Seasoning flour mix
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp white ground pepper
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
- Whisk together the buttermilk, minced garlic, coarse sea salt and black pepper and pour it into a freezer bag.
- Cut the chicken into 8 similar size pieces. Cut the breast pieces in half and separate the legs from the thighs.
- Place the chicken pieces in the freezer bag and seal well. Massage the buttermilk mix well into the chicken.
- Place the freezer bag in the fridge for at least 4 hours to tenderize. I prepared the chicken and marinade in the morning before leaving for work. This way the chicken is extra tender and flavourful by the time I get home.
- Fill your fryer/pot/dutch or french oven with oil and preheat to 350 ºF. (please see notes below.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the seasoning flour mix.
- Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and place a cooling rack over the paper towels on the baking sheet.
- Take one piece of chicken out at-a-time, let it drain into the bag and dredge with the flour mix in the bowl. Make sure to coat all the nooks and crannies.
- Place the coated piece of chicken on the cooling rack.
- Repeat the last two steps for all the chicken pieces.
- Place the first coated piece of chicken back o=in the buttermilk, coat and repeat the flour coating step. Once again, do this for all the pieces. Note: this second coat will help produce beautiful crispy skin.
- Once all the pieces are coated, let the chicken sit on the cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cooking the chicken at room temperature ensures the chicken cooks evenly.
- Preheat the stove or range's oven to 200 ºF
- Place chicken pieces in your frying vessel (fryer, pot, Dutch or French oven), being careful not to over-crowd the chicken. We used the Breville Smart Fryer™ to fry our chicken. We were able to comfortably fit four pieces per batch.
- Let the chicken deep-fry for 12 to 15 minutes. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 ºF without burning the outside. Please read the notes below for cooking tips.
- While the first batch of chicken is frying, line another large baking sheet with parchment paper and place a cooling rack over the paper parchment paper on the baking sheet.
- Once the chicken skin is golden brown and cooked on the inside (check with a thermometer), carefully remove the chicken pieces and place them on the second cooling rack and baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the warm oven to keep the chicken hot while cooking the rest of the chicken. Letting the chicken drain on the cooling rack instead of paper towels, maintains the skin's crispiness instead of letting it go soggy.
- Repeat the last 4 steps until all the chicken is cooked.
- Serve with your favourite sides and enjoy!
- When placing pieces of chicken in hot oil, the oil will cool down. If you're using a pot, french oven or dutch oven, start with the temperature at 350 ºF. Once the chicken is added, the oil temp will drop to about 325 ºF. Let the chicken fry at this temperature. In our case, we used our Breville Smart Fryer. With this unit, the temperature readjusts to the set temperature very quickly. So in our case, we set the frying to a starting temperature of 325 ºF. If we didn't do this, the chicken would brown too quickly on the outside before completely cooking on the inside.
- As mentioned above, cooking with oil that's too hot will burn the skin before the chicken is fully cooked. Oil that isn't hot enough will eventually cook the chicken, but the skin will be soggy instead of crispy. It's important to monitor the temperature with a thermometer for perfect cooking results.
- If your oil is a bit hot, a great trick to cool it down slightly is to add a little more room temperature oil.
- Our cooking time refers to one batch of chicken. The full amount of time depends on how large your pot/fryer is and how many batched you'll need to make. Never over-crowd the chicken.
- We used a small chicken. The smaller pieces will cook well inside before the outside becomes over cooked.