Chef Chris Stewart of The Glass Onion in Charleston shares his recipe for foolproof buttermilk fried chicken. With a hot and tangy brine and classic breading, deep fried to a crisp in vegetable oil, this will be a recipe you’ll return to again and again. Serve with your favorite dill pickles, potato salad, or with a creamy homemade ranch.

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4-6 Servings

    Fried Chicken
  • 1 whole chicken (3½−4 pounds), cut into 8 serving pieces
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Buttermilk brine (Recipe follows)
  • Buttermilk Brine
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 1 large garlic clove)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Cut the chicken down the spine and take apart. Or have your butcher/chicken farmer break down bird for you.
  2. Combine buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, garlic, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl; stir to combine. Add chicken pieces, making sure all are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Combine self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne pepper in a brown paper grocery bag. Note that two bags, one inside the other, ensures no blowouts!
  4. Remove the chicken from buttermilk and shake to remove excess. Add chicken in batches to flour mixture in the bag and shake to completely coat. Remove and shake to remove excess flour. Alternatively, you could combine flour mixture in a shallow baking dish and dredge chicken pieces through it. However, the paper bag method thoroughly coats the chicken and happens to be a lot more fun!
  5. Place chicken on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to rest until ready to fry, at least 30 minutes, but up to several days (in refrigerator). Allowing chicken to rest after flouring ensures that the breading will better adhere to the chicken during frying process.
  6. Heat 4 inches of oil to 325 degrees in a large pot. An even oil temperature is key to frying. A clip-on candy/fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times, and the temperature should register at least 300 degrees during frying process. Fry chicken in batches, skin side down, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Turn and fry until golden brown on other side and cooked through, about 8 more minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. An instant-read thermometer should read 165 degrees when chicken is probed. If chicken happens to be slightly under, you can finish it in the oven at 350 degrees.
  • Recipe By
    Chris Stewart of The Glass Onion in Charleston
  • Contributing City

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