Honey-Peppered Buttermilk-Fried Chicken

Total Time:
3 hr 46 min
10 min
3 hr
36 min

4 servings

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Combine salt, 1/4 cup of the Essence, the honey and the lemon zest in a large plastic container or non-reactive stockpot. Whisk in the buttermilk and stir until salt is dissolved and honey is fully incorporated. Immerse chicken and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • Combine flour, remaining 2 tablespoons Essence and black pepper in a large plastic or doubled brown paper bag; shake to combine. Drop 1/2 of the chicken pieces into flour mixture and shake excess flour from each piece. Repeat coating with remaining chicken pieces. Place coated chicken pieces on a large wire rack, set over a sheet tray and let rest, at room temperature for 20 minutes.

  • Heat 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven. Adjust oven rack to middle position and set a second wire rack over a second baking sheet. Place baking sheet in oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 large plates with a double layer of paper towels.

  • Fry the chicken in batches, skin side down, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Turn pieces over and continue to fry until chicken pieces are golden brown on second side, about 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove and drain on paper towels. Using tongs, transfer to oven while you cook the remaining pieces. Return oil to 375 degrees F and fry remaining pieces. (Note: an even oil temperature is the key to the success of this recipe; a clip-on candy or deep-frying thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times, and the temperature should remain no lower than 325 degrees F.)

  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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