I have a fear of frying.
You would think that I'm used to it, growing up in a Filipino household that fries EVERYTHING (lumpia, pork, ukoy, fish), but truth be told, I was scared of the flying grease that would jump out of the deep fry pot and inevitably land somewhere on my bare flesh when I hung out in the kitchen with my mom. I've come a long way in overcoming my fry-phobia, but making fried chicken is something that I've never attempted...until this evening. It actually turned out really well - my taste testers approved!
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of seasoning: your own preferred mix of garlic salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper,dried thyme, dried oregano (I like a lot of cayenne)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 quart buttermilk
1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups flour
Peanut or canola oil, for frying
Combine the salt, 1/4 cup of seasoning and sugar in a large plastic container or non-reactive stockpot. Add the buttermilk and stir to completely dissolve the salt and sugar. Immerse the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Combine the flour and remaining 2 tablespoons seasoning in a large resealable plastic (i.e. Ziploc) bag; shake to combine.
Heat 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.
Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and shake to remove excess. Add the chicken in batches to the flour and shake to completely coat. Remove and shake to remove excess flour. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to rest until ready to fry.
Fry the chicken in batches, skin-side down, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Turn and fry until golden brown on the second side, about 8 minutes longer. Remove and drain on paper towels.
(Note: An even oil temperature is key to the success of this recipe; a clip-on candy/deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times. And the temperature should register at least 325 degrees F during the cooking process.)
Serve hot or at room temperature.