Ina Says This Is the Best Fried Chicken Ever

You'll be surprised where it comes from.

Host Ina Garten in the kitchen about to sprinkle dill on the smoked salmon platter, as seen on Food Network's Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics, Season 12.

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When Ina adopts a recipe from someone else, you know it has to be good. This season alone we’ve seen her feature world-renowned chefs like Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Wolfgang Puck. For the final episode of the season, she is sharing a recipe for what she calls "the best fried chicken anyone has ever had," but it doesn’t come from a Michelin-starred chef; it comes from The Shake Shack.

The secret to the most-tender chicken with the crispiest exterior is the combination of the marinade and the double-dip crust process. The marinade has a buttermilk base to tenderize the chicken and shallot, garlic and a hint of jalapeno for flavor. "The thing about the marinade," says Ina, "is you want to be sure that you marinade it for long enough so the flavor gets into the chicken… about 8 hours, but not too long ... more than 24 hours, it tends to break down a little bit." The chicken is coated twice in the flour mixture that includes baking powder to make the crust light and crisp and smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and celery salt for big flavor and heat.

"This is the most flavorful chicken you can possibly imagine," Ina says. "I have some friends who come to dinner all the time, and I made this for them, and they said it was the best dinner I ever made – I thought, should I take that as a compliment or not? I took it as a compliment."

Don’t miss the final episode of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro Sunday at 12|11c.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

The recipe for The Shake Shack's crispy fried chicken.

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