Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken

Total Time:
3 hr 55 min
15 min
30 min
3 hr 10 min

8 servings

  • Two 3- to 3 1/2-pound whole chickens
  • 2 bunches fresh rosemary
  • 2 bunches fresh sage
  • 2 bunches fresh thyme
  • 10 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 cloves plus 1 head garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Grapeseed oil, for deep-frying
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon flaked salt, such as Maldon, to finish
  • 4 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

  • Roughly chop 1 bunch rosemary, sage and thyme, 5 of the bay leaves and the 3 garlic cloves. Add to a bowl, and mix with the olive oil, 3 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons pepper. Rub the birds with the herb mixture so it sticks to the skin. Transfer the chickens to a roasting pan.

  • Roast for 2 1/2 hours, or until the temperature between the breast and thigh near the bone registers 150 degrees F. At this stage the chickens are 75-percent cooked. Set aside to cool.

  • When cool enough to handle, break down the birds into 10 pieces each, with the breasts boneless and halved. You will end up with a wing, leg, thigh and 2 pieces breast meat per half chicken.

  • In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce and sugar. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and let sit for 30 minutes.

  • Fill a large, heavy pot with grapeseed oil to a depth of 3 inches. Turn the heat on, and add the remaining bunches rosemary, sage and thyme, the remaining 5 bay leaves and the head of garlic, broken into cloves. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. The herbs and garlic will crisp up and perfume the oil as it comes to temperature. Once they are crispy, remove them to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside--they will serve as a garnish for the finished dish.

  • In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, rice flour, garlic powder, onion powder, 1/3 cup salt and 1/4 cup black pepper; mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and coat well in the flour mixture.

  • Without over-crowding the pot, fry the breaded chicken until all the pieces are golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a clean kitchen cloth and season with flaked salt and freshly ground pepper.

  • Line a serving platter with a paper bag, brown parchment paper or a clean napkin. Pile the chicken onto the platter. Serve with the fried herbs and garlic and the lemon wedges.

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