Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Best Fried Chicken I've Ever Made

I'm back folks, and I'm another whole year wiser (debatable). Yesterday was my birthday, and it was actually really great. I know I might sound crazy for saying this, but I kinda hate birthdays. Like a lot. In the past, I always had something go wrong and just completely ruin this celebration for me all together. So, when deciding what to do about my birthday this year, I just went with the flow and enjoyed a relaxing day of shopping, lunch, and a birthday dinner out in the garden with my Mountain Man. In my family, the birthday girl or boy always got to pick what we would have for dinner. Initially I thought I might want to go out to a fancy restaurant, but all of a sudden, I got a serious cravin' for fried chicken. My Mountain Man didn't quite comprehend at first that I just wanted fried chicken for dinner. Yep, no sides or nothin'. Just a big ole' plate of delicious fried chicken, some mint juleps, and a couple slices of birthday cake. I took it upon myself to really write a recipe for the best fried chicken that I could ever make. And it was. I took many different ideas from other popular fried chicken recipes and combined them into one power combo. I brined the chicken in a simple salt-sugar brine because I find the chicken is wayyyyy more moist when soaked in a brine as opposed to marinating it in buttermilk. After I brined the chicken, I made a seasoning spice mixture to completely coat the chicken and make it super tasty. I also like this technique of no seasonings in the flour because they can burn, which is just no good. I coated the chicken in flour and cornstarch, dipped them into a buttermilk batter, and then back into the flour again. The battered chicken was fried in vegetable shortening (or peanut oil) until golden brown & crispy on the outside. Yet, the chicken was so moist and flavorful on the inside. This was seriously the perfect fried chicken, and exactly what I wanted for my birthday. After we fried up the chicken, we threw them onto a newspaper-covered table out in the garden and just went at 'em. I love my fried chicken with some hot sauce and honey, so definitely give that a try. I mean, what's better than mint juleps, fried chicken, and birthday cake? Nothin'. I will be making this recipe over and over again in the future!! Enjoy :)
The Best Fried Chicken I've Ever Made
mint juleps + fried chicken
For the Brine:
4C Lukewarm Water
½C Sugar & Kosher Salt
2-3lbs Chicken Wings & Drumsticks

For the Dry Rub:
2t Pepper
1 ½t Paprika
¾t Cayenne
½t Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
Prepared Brined Chicken, Completely Dried

For the Flour Coating:
2C AP Flour
½C Cornstarch
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
Prepared Dry Rubbed Chicken

For the Wet Batter Dip:
½C AP Flour & Cornstarch
1t Baking Powder
1C Buttermilk
½C Water
1 Egg
Hot Sauce
Pinch of Salt & Pepper

For the Fried Chicken:
2-3lbs Chicken Wings & Chicken Drumsticks
Dry Rub
Flour Coating
Wet Batter
Peanut Oil or Vegetable Shortening, For Frying
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
Honey, Hot Sauce, Pepper Vinegar, or Maple Syrup, For Serving

1. For the Brine: Place the chicken into a large Ziploc bag. Combine the water, sugar, and salt in large bowl and whisk until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour the brine over the chicken and refrigerate for 4 hours (no longer because the chicken will become too salty). Once brined, drain & dry the chicken, and then set aside.
2. For the Dry Rub: Whisk together all of the seasonings until combined. Rub this mixture all over the dried, brined chicken until completely coated. Place the chicken into a bowl, cover, and chill overnight. Once the chicken has marinated, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. For the Flour Coating: In a dish, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dredge the rubbed chicken in the flour mixture and shake the excess flour from the wings, and then place them onto a baking sheet that is lined with a cooling rack. Let the coated chicken rest for 30 minutes to an hour. This helps the chicken hold onto the crust better when it’s fried. Set the remaining flour mixture aside because the chicken will need a second coating.
4. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees while your chicken rests.
5. Battering the Chicken: Whisk together all of the wet batter ingredients until a smooth, thin batter is formed (this should be the consistency of a thin pancake batter, if the mixture is not thin enough, then add some water for a thinner batter). Once your chicken has rested in the flour coating, dip the chicken into the wet batter let the excess batter drip off, and then finally dredge it once again in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess flour.
6. Frying the Chicken: Fry the wings until they are a deep golden brown and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Once the wings are fried, remove them to a wire rack to drain, sprinkle with a little salt, and keep the chicken warm until ready to serve.

And here's some pictures from my birthday...


  1. I looks like you were able to get a beautiful crust on the chicken. How spicy was it? 3/4 tsp of cayenne along with hot sauce seems like it would be a bit warm. My seasoning is a bit different, but the methodology is very similar. I've saved this to try some time. Thanks!

  2. Yes, the crust was awesome (I mean that's always the best party anyways). But actually, the chicken wasn't spicy at all. I know that a lot of cayenne and hot sauce sounds like too much, but it honestly it just had a nice kick to it. However, if you're not good with heat, you could always reduce the amount of cayenne or substitute it with some paprika or chili powder. Either way, it would still be scrumptious! I hope the recipe works for you, please give me some feedback if you end up trying it!


  3. Juliana,

    Just wanted to stop by to wish you a belated happy birthday!

    I absolutely LOVE your blog!! I tell everyone about your site... You REALLY SHOULD have your own cooking show!!

    Thanks for keeping me inspired!


  4. Aww, aren't you the sweetest! Wanna be best friends? Haha. Anyway, thanks for all the love girl, it really means a lot! I hope that my recipes work out for you, and I can't wait to hear about it in the future :) I always kinda wanted to have a cooking show, but honestly, I want to open up my dream cafe/bakery and sell all my goodies. Hopefully, I'l get there one day. Still, thanks again for the support!


  5. Well I made this last wee, and it was such a hit it was requested again this week! My hubby didn't think I could improve on my original fried chicken, but now he loves this recepie. Tonight though I have to make a double batch, for all the extra kids of mine. whewww...so much for a lazy Sunday, but I love having lots to cook for. Thanks for the great recepie. Miss B