Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken.jpg

I don’t care what anyone says about print dying and all that jazz. I will always read magazines. Especially food magazines. And especially on planes. But my favorite thing of all is when magazines effectively utilize digital media while staying true to their print roots. As a social media enthusiast (OK, it’s really my career), I always have my eye on brands and how they’re engaging their customers. So, I was pretty excited to see Saveur magazine was jumping aboard the Instagram trend and encouraging users to cook their recipes and post to Instagram for a chance to win. I obviously had to join in the fun. And then I totally forgot to Instagram my photo. Until last night when I remembered and realized I had a grand total of 30 minutes left to post. But I still wanted to share the recipe… Because it’s a fabulous one.

And who doesn’t love fried chicken? I was actually OBSESSED with fried chicken as a kid and then I legitimately ate so much of it that I had to spend a few years fried chicken free. I learned my lesson big time. I never want to feel that way again. So, now I’m back in the game and Saveur has made me realize I really do need my own trusty fried chicken recipe that I can make every so often when the craving hits. This is it! It promises to be extra crispy and extra crispy it is!

Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken (serves about 4):
Adapted from Saveur magazine
Print this recipe!

  • 1/4 C kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 T coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 T sugar
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 chicken, quartered (3 1/2-4 lbs.)
  • 4 C flour
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 T cayenne
  • 1 1/2 T onion powder
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 T baking powder
  • Canola oil for frying

Fried Chicken 3.jpg

Though this chicken has a lot of ingredients involved, it’s actually pretty quick to prep. It does require double frying, so it you’re scared of frying, this might not be the best recipe for you. But I promise the double frying is worth it. So, so worth it! And if you have a Ninja Frying System, I promise that frying is SO much less scary. No smoke in my apartment or anything.

To start, you’re going to brine the chicken. This will make for a juicer more tender fried chicken. And into the brine is where most of this recipe’s ingredients go.

In a 4 quart saucepan, boil the salt, pepper, honey, sugar, cloves, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice, along with 6 cups of water, until the salt is dissolved. This will take about 5-7 minutes.

Then, remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool completely. Add chicken to the pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight. I didn’t want to let mine brine too long, so I made the brine in the evening, let it cool overnight, and popped my chicken in in the morning since I was going to be out all day and wouldn’t be frying until night.

Fried Chicken Brine.jpg

When I was ready to fry, I drained the chicken, rinsed, and patted dry with paper towels.

Now it’s batter time! In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, half each of the granulated garlic, cayenne, onion powder, and paprika with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.

In another large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, minced garlic, cayenne, onion powder, and paprika with all of the baking powder, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper pepper, along with 2 cup of water. Whisk until it’s a smooth batter.

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Get your oil ready. Pour enough oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven or a fryer so it’s at a depth of 2″. Heat the oil to 300°.

Working in batches, begin dredging the chicken. First, dredge in the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour.

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Then dip in batter.

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And lastly, dredge again in flour.

Fried Chicken Battered 2.jpg

Place chicken in hot oil (working in batches if necessary), flipping once, until the chicken is golden and just about cooked through, about 7–8 minutes (thickest part of thigh should read 150°). Transfer fried chicken to paper towels to rest, while you fry the remaining chicken.

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Now, increase oil to 350° and fry chicken again until it’s even crispier, about 2–3 minutes more. Drain on paper towels again and season with some more salt and pepper.

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Saveur told me to serve the chicken with baked beans and sautéed green beans, so I did! Great decision. And this was basically the best meal ever.

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Welcome back into my life, fried chicken. Though this is the first fried chicken recipe I’ve ever made, I do think it’s going to become my go-to recipe. It was amazingly crispy and perfectly tender. I couldn’t even believe I made this in my own kitchen. Hoorah!

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Of course, fried chicken isn’t the prettiest of all foods, so these pictures won’t likely win any awards. But they still have the power to make me drool. Now that I’ve had this, I can totally see how it’s possible to eat so much fried chicken you need to take a break. Fried chicken overdose. I had to restrain myself from eating an entire batch of this. I can’t go back to fried chicken rehab again.

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And I totally want to make this recipe again ASAP. Who wants to come over for some fried chicken??

Have you made fried chicken before?



28 Responses to "Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken"

  1. There is nothing like seriously crispy and juicy fried chicken and yours looks so perfect! Yum!!

    I also love seeing different brands embrace social media and interact, so much more fun that way.

  2. Megan says:

    That fried chicken is beautiful! The batter looks so good. And no way print is going anywhere… if I get any say. 🙂

  3. Erica says:

    Good lord that looks yummy! I do like a good magazine every now and again.

  4. Wow! Now I really want some fried chicken tonight – this looks amazingly delicious!

  5. That chicken looks so good and I have southern roots, so I grew up eating lots of Fried Chicken. I do make it from time to time, but I tend to go out and purchase mine most of the time. The mix of spices in this recipe sounds really delicious.

  6. Gia Grossman says:

    That chicken looks like crispy perfection!

  7. Ohh wow. That looks like crispy perfection! I love seeing social media used well, and used by companies or groups I think are unexpected!

  8. Betty says:

    Me! I’d love to come over for some fried chicken! I love chicken but haven’t made my own in ages and ages.Yours looks absolutely divine. 🙂

  9. Nancy says:

    This chicken recipe sounds like it will pack a lot of flavour. I think the brine will make the chicken extra juicy and the batter really nice and spicy. Thanks I look forward to trying it out.

  10. Fred says:

    8 min at 300F and 3 more at 350F is not cooking a thigh. Try 15-20 minutes unless you like chewy, underdone dark meat. I do not.

  11. Sues says:

    @Fred- Hi! I followed the recipe and it worked for me. The meat was completely cooked and very tender. However, that’s why I gave the internal temperature of the meat, too.

  12. Odetta says:

    I could probably eat the whole chicken too! I don’t usually fry but now I’m very tempted!

  13. Great, now I want fried chicken. And I have a burrito bowl for dinner. D’oh!

  14. Nmans says:

    Looks great. We have been making fried chicken for decades using deep fryers. Very similar dry flour mixture, but just dipped in milk first. Thorughouly cooked in 20 min at 375 degree oil. Now using peanut oil. Very similar results Gotta love FRIED CHICKEN!!!

  15. I was drooling when I got that Saveur issue! I also was obsessed with fried chicken as a kid (and I guess up to now, as an adult). This looks ridiculously good!

  16. Deb says:

    Looks delish! My husband & I have promised each other to picnic this fall! Just celebrated 26 years! We have a beautiful woodland/pond park only 10 min from home. Brined & fried chicken as you have prepared would be the perfect center piece for a healthy size dinner picnic!
    Happy Belated Sues…from another 9/28 Libra

  17. Wow. This chicken looks amazing. The crispy bits are making my mouth water.

  18. Oh man, every time I see a fried chicken post, I want to make fried chicken right away (right. away!). This looks perfect, and who said fried chicken doesn’t photograph well? These are some of the most gorgeous photos I’ve seen 😉

  19. Jenn says:

    I DEFINITELY want to come over next time you make this!!! I just adore fried chicken.. Honestly, put that with some mac and cheese in front of me and I’m in heaven!!!

  20. Asmita says:

    Glorious! How I would love to dig into that.

  21. April says:

    That chicken looks awesome! Do you think that it would be the same with boneless skinless breasts?

  22. Sues says:

    @April- Thank you! I do think you could do this with boneless chicken, too. Now, I totally want to try!

  23. Testa says:

    Like a brined turkey, brined chicken cooks faster than unbrined chicken. That’s why you can shorten the cooking time just like the recipe says…

  24. Peggy says:

    Be very careful when you purchase your chicken. Make sure it hasn’t already been injected with a salt solution or your brine will make the chicken even saltier. Use only chicken that hasn’t been injected.

  25. Tami says:

    Oh My G-o-o-o-o-d-n-e-s-s!!!
    I made this chicken the other night for me and hubby for dinner, I was a little apprehensive (haven’t cooked fried chicken in years and a new recipe)
    I took a chance thinking what do I have to lose…we’ll have chicken pot pies if I fail miserably. I didn’t do the brine thing ,I just soaked the chicken in buttermilk overnight and drained. I followed the remaining recipe. my chicken thighs took about 20-25 minutes to cook. this was the BEST fried chicken recipe for extra crispy fried chicken, I have been searching for sometime to find one to my liking. the flavor was excellent and the crispy, crispy, crisp coating was like none other! Good Job Ladies, you nailed it. Thank-you for sharing, my search is over. I hope this post will encourage others to try this recipe. you won’t regret it!

  26. chicken salad says:

    You could certainly see your skills in the work
    you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers
    like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  27. Lumoriel says:

    I can be there by 7 pm for dinner…shall I bring macaroni or potato salad?

  28. been looking for a nice recipe like this to try for chicken. Thanks for sharing.


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