Fried Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon smoked paprika 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt 

One 2 1/2- to 4-pound fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces 

2 cups all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

Vegetable oil, for frying 

Maple syrup, warmed, if desired for serving 

Directions

  1. Stir together the buttermilk, paprika, cayenne and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and submerge them to coat. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes but ideally as long as possible (up to 2 hours at room temperature or up to 8 hours refrigerated).
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F; set a rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda and remaining 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Remove the chicken from the soak mixture and add to the flour mixture, turning to coat. Remove, dip again in the soak mixture and then again in the flour mixture.
  4. Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a very large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, shallow-fry the chicken in batches, turning once, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part (avoid the bone) registers 165 degrees F, around 15 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to finish cooking through if necessary. Serve with warmed maple syrup if desired for dipping.