Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

Fried chicken is something you must know how to make. In this recipe you'll learn how to build a tasty, crispy crust and check for doneness. It's the perfect finger food to serve at your next picnic.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Fried Chicken

1 4-5 lb chicken, preferably free-range

2 cups buttermilk, or half-and-half

kosher salt

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce, or any hot sauce

Canola oil, for frying, or peanut oil

3 cups cornmeal, preferably organic, stone-ground

3 cups all-purpose flour

Freshly ground black pepper

3 large eggs

Mashed Potatoes

kosher salt

5 russet potatoes

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 stick unsalted butter, 8 tablespoons, softened

Directions

  1. Prepare the chicken: Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and set it next to your cutting board; as you cut pieces off the chicken, add them to the buttermilk. With a sharp knife, remove and discard the wing tips (or reserve for stock). Cut the wings from the chicken. Cut the thigh and leg away from the body; split this section into three pieces by separating the drumstick and then cutting the thigh in half. Repeat with other thigh and leg. With kitchen shears, snip off the rear and the back bone. Push down on the bird to break the breastbone; cut the breasts into 4 pieces.
  2. Season the buttermilk and chicken mixture with a healthy pinch of salt, the paprika, and the Tabasco. Stir to combine and coat the chicken. (The chicken can be cooked right away or marinated overnight.) Fill the oil to ¾-inch (2cm) deep in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. For the mashed potatoes: Peel the potatoes, cut into large chunks, and add to a large pot of simmering salted water. Cook at a low simmer until tender, 35–45 minutes. (Do not boil.)
  4. Combine the cornmeal, flour, ½ tablespoon (9g) salt and a generous amount of black pepper in a strong paper bag. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk marinade (reserving the marinade) and transfer them to the paper bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken thoroughly.
  5. Whisk the eggs into the remaining marinade; return the floured chicken pieces to the marinade and stir to coat again. In batches, transfer the chicken pieces back to the paper bag and shake to coat with the flour mixture again.
  6. Starting with the biggest pieces, place the chicken in the hot oil and fry until cooked through and golden-brown, 18–20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. (Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to fry in batches.) Adjust the temperature to make sure the heat is constant. Transfer cooked chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Serve the chicken hot or at room temperature. (To reheat cold chicken: Place on a tray and into an oven at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes, to crisp up the skin.)
  7. Drain the potatoes, reserving 1 cup (240ml) of the cooking liquid in the pot. Place the potatoes back in the pot and add the cream and butter; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and mash with an old-fashioned potato masher to desired texture.
  8. Mound the mashed potatoes on a rimmed platter and serve with the fried chicken.