The secret to the crispiest and juiciest fried chicken you’ll ever lay your lips on? Marinating the chicken pieces in buttermilk, coating them in seasoned flour and allowing to stand for half hour before frying. True, the recipe is laborious, requiring quite a few steps and a few good hours, but the reward is crispy chicken chicken that’s super crunchy yet delectably moist and flavorful.
- 1 (3 pounds) whole chicken
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon red pepper sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon pepper , freshly-ground
- 2 cups vegetable shortening
Cut chicken into 8 pieces and then cut each breast in half crosswise.
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine buttermilk, red pepper sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Shake bag a few times until marinade is evenly dispersed. Add chicken. Close bag and turn once or twice to fully coat chicken pieces in buttermilk mixture. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, turning bag over once.
In a shallow dish, combine flour, paprika, pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove chicken from buttermilk and shake off excess liquid. Discard marinade.
Working with several pieces of chicken at a time, add to flour mixture and turn to coat evenly. Transfer coated chicken to wire rack and let stand for 30 minutes.
In a thick-bottomed or cast-iron skillet, heat shortening over medium heat until 360 F is reached, checking with a deep-fry thermometer.
Add chicken skin side down. DO NOT overcrowd pan, fry in batches as needed.
Cover skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until bottoms of chicken are lightly golden.
Adjust temperature to medium low for a 275 F to 300 F temperature. Turn chicken pieces to other side and continue to fry, covered but turning occasionally, for 7 to 15 minutes or until deep-golden and cooked through.