Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken
3 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup buttermilk
Half-Gallon Peanut oil
In a resealable plastic bag set in a bowl combine the 3 cups buttermilk, the coarse salt, and sugar. Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise. Add all chicken pieces to the brine; seal bag. Turn bag to coat chicken with brine mixture. Chill for 2 to 4 hours; remove chicken from brine. Drain chicken; pat dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl combine flour, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Divide flour mixture evenly between two shallow dishes. Place the 3/4 cup buttermilk in another shallow dish. Dip chicken into flour mixture in the first shallow dish, turning to completely coat. Dip flour-coated chicken in the buttermilk, turning to coat. Coat again with flour mixture in the second shallow dish.
Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy Dutch oven or kettle, (or a deep-fat fryer) heat 1-2 inches oil to 350 degrees F. Using tongs carefully add a few pieces of chicken to Dutch oven. (Oil temperature will drop; maintain temperature of 325 degrees F.) Fry chicken for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F for breasts; 180 degrees F for thighs and drumsticks), and coating is golden, turning once. Drain on rack, otherwise it gets soggy!
Keep fried chicken warm in a 180 degree F oven while frying remaining chicken pieces. Makes 6 servings.
Spicy Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken:
Prepare as above, except add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.
Pecan Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken:
Prepare as above, except, reduce the flour to 1-1/4 cups and add 3/4 cup ground pecans to the flour mixture.
Nutrition Facts per 3 ounces chicken: don’t worry about it.