Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken

November 29, 2010

It’s been about 10 months since I made my favorite extra-crunchy fried chicken. However, because  I am also my son’s chauffeur and he had an evening activity, I had to find a way to shave 1-hour off of this 2-hour recipe. So brining was out the window, and in the end, it did lose some of it’s the well-balanced flavor. No big deal; I ate it with chicken in one hand and a salt shaker in the other.

The crispiest fried chicken you'll ever eat.

However, my big mistake was that my oil was too hot; the exterior was fully browned before the interior was cooked. From my year of cooking fried chicken I knew I had two remedies; either (1) remove the chicken from the oil half way through cooking, let it rest for 5 minutes while the center warms up, then fry for a second time, or (2) remove it from the oil when the skin was ready and finish cooking through in the oven. In the end, I used the first technique for my son (because it was quicker), and used the second method for my own dinner because it yields chicken that is less greasy.

The recipe is here. [Update January 31, 2011: I made a few changes. See my revised recipe here]. Mix 2 cups of buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of salt and brine chicken in refrigerator for 1 hour (I had to skip brining). Combine 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl. Then add 6 tablespoons buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with your hands until evenly incorporated (this is the secret step to make it extra crispy). When the oil reaches 375-degrees, thoroughly coat chicken with flour mixture gently pressing it onto the chicken. Fry in two batches for a total of about 18-minutes per batch until chicken has reached the proper internal temperature.

Rating for this batch was only 4-stars, but the recipe is a solid 5-stars. It is the crispiest fired chicken you’ll ever eat.


  1. First, I wasn’t supposed to deep fry this chicken, rather I was supposed to shallow fry it in only 4 to 5 cups of oil. But because I had my dutch oven already filled with 3 quarts of oil, I decided to deep fry instead.
  2. Chris Kimball did warn me that the key to this recipe is having the oil at the proper temperature. And because I had my new deep frying thermometer I though I was in great shape. However, when I covered up the frying chicken (per the recipe) for the first few minutes, the cast iron lid touched the thermometer and artificially lowered the temperature to around 240-degrees (when it was really about 310-degrees), so I cranked up the heat to compensate. When I removed the lid, I saw that the real temperature as 340-degrees; much too high.
  3. I still want to try the Extra-Spicy, Extra-Crunchy Fried Chicken” on the “Cooks Country TV” website.

Rating: 5-star recipe, but 4-star implementation.
Cost: $3 for 8 pieces of chicken.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Medium/High.
Start time 3:30 PM. Dinner time 4:35 PM.

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