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Ultimate Crispy Fried Chicken


Our best fried chicken recipe would be worth the splatter and mess, producing seasoned meat coated with a crisp mahogany crust. We found that cutting up a whole chicken and brining it in a mixture of buttermilk, salt, and spices was the way to begin. Air-drying the brined chicken gave us an extra-crisp skin. To finish our fried chicken recipe, we coated the chicken with a mixture of flour, baking powder, and baking soda for a light, shatteringly crisp crust and pan-fried it in peanut oil for clean flavor.



1 ¼ cups kosher salt, or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons table salt

¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
3 medium heads garlic, cloves separated
3 bay leaves, crumbled
2 quarts buttermilk, (low fat)
1 whole chicken, (about 3 1/2 pounds), giblets discarded, cut into 12 pieces (see illustrations below)
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
3–4 cups refined peanut oil, or vegetable shortening



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