This is a classic recipe for “Deviled Fried Chicken” from a 1998 Bon Appetite Magazine that has stood the test of time. Thanks to my friend Cynthia for recommending it to me. You can find the original recipe at Epicurious.com. It is amazingly moist with a great crispy crust! This recipe is my adapted version using a deep fryer. I also re-wrote the ingredients order to make it easier to follow. The recipe calls for skinless chicken, however I left the skin on the wings and drumsticks. Next time I would double the amount of cayenne and black pepper, which is our personal preference for a bit more heat.
One last suggestion: make a DOUBLE batch! It is that good. Nowadays it is hard to find a cut-up fryer chicken in one package at the grocery store. I suggest you buy chicken parts in packages or cut up a fryer chicken yourself. I opted for the “parts in packages” option and actually made 7 pounds of chicken. This Fried Chicken makes great leftovers, even served cold.
- Marinate the chicken in seasoned buttermilk for TWO DAYS! The reason that this chicken is so moist and flavorful is because of the buttermilk marinade. The long marinade time makes a big difference. Don’t marinate less than 1 day.
- The chicken is coated with seasoned flour and sits for ONE HOUR! This time allows the flour to absorb some of the buttermilk and form a crust that will seal in the juices during frying.
Deep fry the chicken in a deep fryer or a skillet with a thermometer. (This is the electric deep fryer I want from Amazon! It filters the oil and makes clean up a breeze!You can also finish cooking the chicken in the oven while frying the rest of the chicken. The key is get the inside cooked while not burning the outside. I learned the hard way that you should put the chicken on a wire rack on the cookie sheet to keep the bottom of the chicken crispy.
One of our favorite meals is Chicken and Waffles. Pair this amazing Fried Chicken with my Overnight Belgian Waffles and OMG. The perfect meal.
Best Fried Chicken
- 3 ½ pounds frying chicken 8 pieces (2 each wings, legs, thighs, breast). Remove the skin from the thighs and breast.
- 5 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups buttermilk with fat, not fat-free buttermilk
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more if desired
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Flour Coating
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper or more if desired
- 1 tablespoon paprika optional for color
- In a large bowl with a pouring lip, make the marinade by whisking the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, onion powder, salt, dry mustard, parsley, cayenne and black pepper until combined.
- Add chicken pieces to a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour the buttermilk marinade over the chicken. Seal bag, eliminating air. Turn bag over several times to coat chicken evenly. Refrigerate at least 1 day and up to 2 days, turning plastic bag occasionally. (Recommend 2 days, if possible).
- About 1 ½ hours before you want to start frying, prepare the flour coating. Mix flour, baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, dry mustard, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika if using in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Place one half of the flour in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish or pan. With marinade still clinging to chicken pieces (do not shake off excess), place chicken on the flour coating in a single layer. Add the rest of the flour coating on top of the chicken. Gently turn the chicken pieces to coat thickly. Let chicken stand, uncovered, in flour coating for 1 hour, turning chicken occasionally to recoat with flour mixture.
- Pour oil in deep fryer to maximum line. Set temperature to 320 degrees. While the fryer is heating, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet with a wire rack on top.
- Depending on the size of your fryer, add the drumsticks and thighs and fry for 9 minutes. The key is to fry like pieces together for easier timing. Fry until deep golden brown. Remove fried chicken with tongs, let oil drain off, and transfer to the wire rack. Let the chicken finish cooking in the oven and stay warm.
- Fry the chicken breasts next for 8 minutes and until the outside is golden brown. Transfer to the wire rack in the oven. Fry the chicken wings for 6 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven. Transfer the fried wings to the rack. Use a digital thermometer to confirm the interior of a chicken thigh registers at least 165 degrees and a breast 150 degrees. Let the chicken cool a bit before serving.
- Fried Chicken can be served warm or at room temperature within 2 hours, or chill up to 1 day and serve cold.