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Summertime Fried Chicken
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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Summertime Fried Chicken Dinner

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Here is the classic picnic food, made even better for dinner! We marinate chicken in buttermilk and add two secret ingredients--pickle juice and Worcestershire sauce--for maximum flavor and tenderness, before frying it to crispy perfection. Served with a creamy coleslaw plus lots of pickles and potato rolls, this delightful family-style meal conjures up the best of summer.





  1. For the chicken: Mix together the buttermilk, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons of the paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt and several grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken, making sure the pieces are submerged. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
  2. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, remaining 1 teaspoon paprika, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper in a large bowl until well combined; set aside.  
  3. Fill a deep heavy pot with 2 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 350 degrees F. 
  4. Remove a chicken piece from the buttermilk mixture, letting the excess drip off, and roll it in the seasoned flour until completely coated. Push it to the side in the bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. 
  5. Working in 2 batches, carefully lower the chicken into the oil. The temperature will drop to 300 to 325 degrees F; adjust the heat to maintain this temperature so the crust doesn't burn before the meat is cooked. Fry, undisturbed, 2 to 3 minutes to set the crust, then carefully lift with tongs to check the browning. It should be light golden; if it is browning too quickly, lower the heat slightly. Continue to fry, turning as needed, until golden brown and cooked through, 12 to 14 more minutes for smaller pieces and 14 to 16 more minutes for larger ones. (A thermometer should register 160 degrees F in the breasts and 165 degrees F in the thighs and drumsticks.) 
  6. Remove the chicken to a rack to drain and let rest a few minutes. Season with salt. Repeat with the remaining chicken.  
  7. For the coleslaw: Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and celery salt in a medium bowl. Add the coleslaw mix and toss to coat. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed before serving. 
  8. Serve the chicken hot or at room temperature with the coleslaw, potato rolls and pickles on the side.