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Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken

Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken
YIELDS
8 servings

Roasted herbs set this fried chicken recipe apart from the rest.

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Ingredients

2 3-
to 3 ½-lb whole chickens
2
bunches fresh rosemary
2
bunches fresh sage
2
bunches fresh thyme
10
fresh bay leaves
3
cloves plus 1 head garlic
¼
cup olive oil
3
Tbsp plus ⅓ cup kosher salt
2
Tbsp plus ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
4
cups buttermilk
1
Tbsp hot sauce
1
tsp sugar
Grapeseed oil, for deep-frying
4
cups all-purpose flour
1
cup rice flour
½
cup garlic powder
½
cup onion powder
1
Tbsp flaked salt, such as Maldon, to finish
4
lemons, cut into wedges for serving
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Directions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 200ºF.

Step 2

Roughly chop 1 bunch rosemary, sage and thyme, 5 of the bay leaves and the 3 garlic cloves. Add to a bowl, and mix with the olive oil, 3 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons pepper. Rub the birds with the herb mixture so it sticks to the skin. Transfer the chickens to a roasting pan.

Step 3

Roast for 2 1/2 hours, or until the temperature between the breast and thigh near the bone registers 150ºF. At this stage the chickens are 75-percent cooked. Set aside to cool.

Step 4

When cool enough to handle, break down the birds into 10 pieces each, with the breasts boneless and halved. You will end up with a wing, leg, thigh and 2 pieces breast meat per half chicken.

Step 5

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce and sugar. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 6

Fill a large, heavy pot with grapeseed oil to a depth of 3 inches. Turn the heat on, and add the remaining bunches rosemary, sage and thyme, the remaining 5 bay leaves and the head of garlic, broken into cloves. Heat the oil to 375ºF on a deep-fry thermometer. The herbs and garlic will crisp up and perfume the oil as it comes to temperature. Once they are crispy, remove them to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside–they will serve as a garnish for the finished dish.

Step 7

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, rice flour, garlic powder, onion powder, 1/3 cup salt and 1/4 cup black pepper; mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and coat well in the flour mixture.

Step 8

Without over-crowding the pot, fry the breaded chicken until all the pieces are golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a clean kitchen cloth and season with flaked salt and freshly ground pepper.

Step 9

Line a serving platter with a paper bag, brown parchment paper or a clean napkin. Pile the chicken onto the platter. Serve with the fried herbs and garlic and the lemon wedges.

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