Time: 2 hours brining; time spent cooking depends on pot size
Yields: 15 pieces
I know making fried chicken can be intimidating, but here I break it down step by step, so just follow along! I was never comfortable making it by myself, until we wrote out the steps for me to follow-now I get it right every time! I recommend watching the whole video before beginning, so you know what to expect and what your process should look like. With a good thermometer-preferably instant- and the right ingredients, you’ll end up with crispy, juicy fried chicken that has a crust that’s not too thick and perfectly seasoned. I’m excited to share this recipe, because we’ve tried many ingredient combinations over the past year to achieve the best crust and taste, so I hope you think so, too!
- 15 chicken legs, skin-on*
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 10 teaspoons season-all
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 5 lbs lard for a 6 qt. pot (the key is making sure the melted lard covers all of the chicken while frying)
- 2 eggs**
- 3 more teaspoons season all (will go in the eggs)**
- Kosher salt for brining (regular table salt will do if you don’t have kosher)
1.) Brine the chicken: (this helps keep it tender and juicy)
-Put your chicken in a dish that’ll fit in your fridge. Figure out how much water you need to cover the chicken, then dissolve 1/4 cup kosher salt per quart of water in an empty bowl.
-Put the chicken in this brine, and refrigerate at least two, up to four, hours.
-When you’re ready to cook, rinse and drain the chicken.
-Pat it dry with paper towels.
2.) In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, 10 tsp season-all, and baking powder.
3.) In a separate bowl, make the egg wash by scrambling the eggs and 3 tsp season-all together.
4.) Coating the chicken:
-From left to right on your work surface, place your bowl of chicken, egg wash, flour mixture, then a pan to set the coated raw chicken in front of you.
-Using one hand, take a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg wash, being sure to get egg on the whole leg. Let the excess drip off, then using your other hand, roll the chicken in the flour mixture, being sure to cover all the crevices and under any loose skin. Set it on its end in the prep pan.
-Repeat this process with every piece of chicken.
5.) Heat lard to 365 degrees F.
6.) Prep a pan for the finished chicken by placing a double layer of paper towels in an empty pan.
7.) Once the lard reaches 365 degrees F, put some chicken in the pot (see video for how to do this properly). Don’t crowd the pot; we only cook three pieces at a time in a 6 qt. pot.
8.) Set a timer for 15 minutes, and turn the heat down below medium. You want it to go down to 325 degrees F within a few minutes, then maintain 325F for the remainder of the cooking time.
9.) Due to chicken not being uniform sizes, you can start checking for doneness at the 10 minute mark. Once the pieces have an internal temp of 365 degrees F, they are done.
10.) Remove from pot, and place them on the paper towels to drain.
11.) If you’re cooking multiple batches, be sure to heat the lard up to 365F again before putting more chicken in the pot.
*The amount of dry coating in this recipe will coat 15 pieces. However, we never fry that much chicken at once. You can store the leftover dry mixture in a plastic bag in the freezer.
**If you are cooking 15 pieces, you will need more egg wash: probably 2 more eggs and 3 more tsp season-all.
-We fry in lard because it’s hard to burn and is a neutral oil that has a clean taste.