Emily’s Fried Chicken
I started this love affair with fried chicken after I experienced the whole fried chicken from Emerils in New Orleans in 2015. It is without question the best fried chicken I’ve ever had in my life. And after that, the crusade to find more began. I became a fast fan of Howlin’ Rays Hot Chicken in Los Angeles. Their chicken is incredible, too. And Dinah’s Fried Chicken in Glendale is a hidden secret and they are serving some GOOD fried chicken. As I went on finding more fried chicken I realized the 3 key things to delicious fried chicken: It HAS to be well seasoned. The flour your dredge it in must have good flavor. If it doesn’t your chicken won’t be the same. That first bite when you sink your teeth into the crispy outer crust needs to have salt and a little heat. It just does. Trust me. The fry on the chicken needs to shatter like glass when you bite into it. It shouldn’t be tough or hard but rather fragile. And make a lot of noise when you take that first bite. Your chicken has gotta be on point in the quality department. High quality chicken stays tender, juicy and all of flavor. I really encourage using organic, free range chicken. I like to use Mary’s chicken the best. So with these guidelines in mind, you can make the best fried chicken of all time. And you’ll be really proud of it, too! Everyone does their fried chicken differently but let me tell you why I really love this recipe. Well, this took lots of different tries and combinations. I used egg instead of buttermilk, no cayenne, too much hot sauce and not enough salt. After about 10 attempts of finding that perfect balance, I think I hit the sweet spot. So follow along, enjoy and let’s eat some fried chicken!
- 6-8 chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- 1 quart buttermilk
- Crystal or Franks hot sauce
- 3 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon pepper
- 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 quart peanut oil
- Mix together the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (Crystal or Franks), 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Whisk together in a large bowl.
- Add in the chicken thigh directly into the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for 1 hour, yes on the counter, not in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, mix together the flour, rest of the salt and pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Give it a good stir and taste it. If it doesn’t like its seasoned enough, add more salt.
- After one hour, heat the peanut oil on medium high heat in a deep cast iron skillet or a dutch oven. Allow the oil to heat up until it begins to glisten. You don’t want the oil to get past 325 degrees. It should be right at about 300-310º.
- If you have a candy/frying thermometer you can use that but using I can just tell by the way it looks. It should be lightly glistening.
Now time to dredge your chicken!
- Take the chicken out of the buttermilk. The chicken should not be cold. It should be cool but not cold. Dredge each piece on at a time, working in batches of 2 thighs at a time. Completely cover every nook and cranny of the chicken with the flour.
- Gently drop it in, working in batching of 2-3. Flip the chicken after it begins to turn golden but not brown. If it looks like its getting brown quickly lower the heat a little. The chicken should begin to turn golden after about 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 5 minutes on the other side.
- Take the chicken out and place on a flat plate with paper towels. Don’t allow the pieces of chicken to touch to prevent them from getting soggy on the bottom
- Repeat with the additional pieces of chicken until they are all fried.
- Serve and eat immediately with hot sauce and pickles!
Enjoy! With love + salt, Emily