Fried chicken and more

friedchickenFried chicken goes with summer.  You can buy really good fried chicken all over the east end of Long Island.  I haven’t indulged myself and made my own in years but decided it was time.  It was fantastic.  Four of us almost devoured two chickens!

The key is buttermilk.  I cut up two whole chickens and put them in a big plastic ziplock bag.  Then I filled it with buttermilk, salt, pepper, and a hint of chili pepper.  I was out of cayenne but that would be a good thing to add.  You could even add Old Bay.  Whatever you like.  I marinated this for over 24 hours.

Take the chickens out of the bag and let the buttermilk drip off of them right before you fry them.  Then dredge each piece in a flour mixture.  4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of Old Bay, 1/8 cup paprika, 1/8 cup black pepper, 1/8 cup kosher salt.  You could add more here too from celery salt to thyme but I like the Old Bay mix.

One thing you can do but I did not is dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then dip it again in the buttermilk and then coat again with the flour mixture.  I just stuck with buttermilk to flour.

Here is the real key.  Buy yourself a deep fryer.  They aren’t that expensive and you can use it outside.  I filled it up with canola oil, plugged it in and turned it up until the oil was as hot as it can get.  I put about 5 pieces at a time in the basket.  If you do it on the stove with a large cast iron pot then the pieces don’t touch each other which is certainly preferred but then the house smells like fried chicken for days on end.

I let the chicken sit in the hot oil for 8 minutes.  Then took it out and put it on a tray covered with paper towels to absorb some oil. Really not very greasy at all.  Then I put the pieces into the oven at 200 degrees.  After the last batch was in the fryer, I cranked the heat in the oven to 350 because the chicken was not done yet (use a thermometer for this and it should be at 180).

I put the last batch in the oven and we sat down to eat the rest (which was done).  Took out the last pieces about 10 minutes later. Served this up with some hot sauces and you are in business.

Sides were a Japanese cole slaw (thinly sliced napa cabbage and red cabbage) then mixed at the last minute with recipe below.  I will do this again.  You have to mix this up right before you serve it because if the sauce sits on the cabbage it gets limp.  You want it to remain crispy.

  1. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds.
  2. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce.
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil.

Also a tomato, corn and basil salad with a splash of white wine vinegar, olive oil and salt.  This screams summer.

Margaritas on the side….and we were one happy crew.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Talking about fried chicken and natural wine…Owners of Dirty Bird and Eben Lillie, a friend and son of one of the founder of Chambers Street Wines, have put a natural wine bar in the Dirty Bird 14th street location specializing in just that–fried chicken and natural wine.

    1. Gotham Gal


  2. Brandon Burns

    Of the things my friends ask me to cook over and over again, fried chicken is probably atop that list. I do it differently every time, but cumin is almost always a part of it. There’s something about cumin being fried that really brings out its flavor and smell. Your whole kitchen will smell like the most delicious thing ever.Another trick is to slice up an onion and put it in the oil maybe 5 minutes before the chicken. With the high water content in the onions, the flavor takes to the oil quickly, and adds good flavor to the chicken crust.Also, if you fry the chicken in a deep pan, and cover it with a lid, you’ll get that soft crust KFC-style effect.Or use potato starch to get that korean style crispiness.I could riff on fried chicken recipes forever. 😛

    1. Gotham Gal

      the onion is a nice call!

  3. jeffgrillo

    I want to eat that right now :). That picture makes me wonder if you’ve eaten at Buttermilk Channel in Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn? I think they serve fried chicken on Monday or Tuesday for dinner. For breakfast they serve eggs Benedict, which is my favorite, and at $18+ it is somewhat affordable compared to some places in Manhattan like Balthazar (I guess people pay $24+ for the experience?). Ha!

    1. Gotham Gal

      I have not but I really want to.

  4. Laura Yecies

    Nice call on the outdoor cooker. I cannot stand the smell of my house after frying food – just replaced my outdoor barbecue with one that has a gas burner on the side so I can fry my Latkes outside!

    1. Gotham Gal

      I love that!

  5. pointsnfigures

    For the last six years, I was on the Board of Trustees of the National WW2 Museum in NOLA. A few friends of mine and I were on a mission to find the best fried chicken there. We have a split opinion. Mine was Dookey Chase’s. Leah Chase is 93 and still makes it there everyday. Around the corner is Willie Mae’s Scotch House. Close second.You are correct’ buttermilk is the key. It gives it tang. If you can find unpasteurized raw milk buttermilk it’s even better-but getting that stuff is harder to get than any illegal drug. With worse penalties for producers!Fried chicken is so tasty when done well. I am close to buying an antique cast iron fryer.

    1. Gotham Gal

      a cast iron pot like that would be perfect.

    2. JLM

      .In Nawlins, cher, it’s Dookey Chase’s. Period.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  6. Donna Brewington White

    I’m inspired. One thing I miss being gluten free is fried chicken but I wonder if this recipe might adapt.When my close friend from Capetown via London became an American citizen a few months ago, she wanted to celebrate by going out for authentic American fried chicken. We were in downtown LA and Foursquare led us to a place that looked like a dive from the outside but was amazing. I ended up with the unusual combination of potato salad and scrambled eggs but even this was good.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Gluten free should absolutely work

      1. Donna Brewington White