Make It at Home: Buttermilk-Brined Pan-Fried Chicken
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups buttermilk
- 1 chicken, cut into 10 pieces: 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 legs and 2 breasts cut in half
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 8 cups self-rising flour
- 8 cups chicken fat or canola oil
In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt, sugar, thyme and bay leaf. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved, and refrigerate. Once chilled, stir in buttermilk.
Soak chicken pieces in the buttermilk brine for 12 hours. Remove chicken and lightly season with the salt and both peppers. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl, mix the remaining salt and pepper with the self-rising flour. Set aside.
In the braiser, heat chicken fat to 350 F. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Place 4 or 5 pieces at a time into the braiser. Make sure the oil maintains a 350 F temperature.
Cook on one side for 5 minutes, then turn and cook on the other side another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Remove to a rack. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.