I read this recipe in Ad Hoc at Home and…had to give the library book back. ┬áSo it’s a combination of the recipe in AHAH and the Alton Brown one here.

One of my cooking life dreams…superlative fried chicken. ┬áThis seemed like a good start, although managing the oil temperature was tricky.

Fried Chicken

1 fryer chicken, cut into 10 pieces, backbone, wing tips, neck, etc., reserved for soup stock
2 c. buttermilk
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 c. salt

1 t smoked paprika
1 t salt
1 T black pepper (fresh ground)


Vegetable shortening

Cut up the chicken (cutting the breasts in half), leaving the skin on. Put the chicken, buttermilk, garlic, and salt in a sealable bag (e.g., a Ziploc freezer bag) and let sit in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight (if overnight, halve the salt).

Prepare the shortening: heat in a LARGE skillet or two smaller skillets, to a depth of about 1/8-1/4 inch, to 325 degrees F, or just slightly less than the temperature you’d use to deep fry, if you go by that.

Mix the seasonings together; you’ll probably need more than I show, but that’s the ratio you need. Drain the buttermilk mixture off the chicken, sprinkle with seasoning, and dredge in the flour. Lay chicken in the skillet, skin side down, dark meat in the middle. It’s okay to crowd the meat, but it should all be in a single layer. Cook until the skin side is brown, about 10 minutes (if it gets dark sooner, lower the heat), then flip. The chicken should end up at an internal temperature of 180 degrees, about 10 minutes a side, or until the juices have just turned clear near the bone.

Take each piece of chicken off the heat as it finishes and drain on a wire rack set over a pan. Do not drain on paper towels.