How to Make the Tastiest Fried Chicken of Your Life, Step by Step (PHOTOS)

Adriana Velez | Oct 9, 2015 Food & Party

There's something magical about fried chicken, especially when you get the batter that perfect, crisp mahogany and the chicken inside juicy and well seasoned. This recipe from The Up South Cookbook by Nicole Taylor gets it just right, thanks to her technique and one surprise ingredient you'd never think to use in fried chicken.

Up South is filled with recipes inspired by Taylor's southern upbringing and her current New York City life. For the most flavorful bird, Taylor says, "I live and die by seasoning the bird and batter."

And the surprise ingredient is coconut milk, which Taylor uses (with buttermilk) to soak the chicken. It's an idea she picked up from a foodie friend. "It tenderizes the chicken and adds another layer of subtle flavor," she says. However, she adds, "No, the fried chicken doesn't come out tasting like coconut!"

 

Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press 

  • Ingredients

    1

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    1 (3–4 pounds) fryer chicken, cut up

    ½ lemon

    2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided

    2 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided

    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1½ cups coconut milk, unsweetened, or 1 (13½-ounce) container

    ½ cup buttermilk

    1½ cups all-purpose flour

    1 cup cornstarch

    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    1 tablespoon fresh thyme

    1 teaspoon garlic powder

    1 teaspoon onion powder

    4 cups peanut oil or lard

    Fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

  • Season & Chill Chicken

    2

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    Rinse the chicken and rub it with half a lemon (I do this to sanitize chicken). Pat dry, season with 2 tablespoons of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper, and cinnamon. Place the chicken in a large bowl, cover it, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  • Soak Chicken in Buttermilk and Coconut Milk

    3

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    In a separate large bowl, combine the coconut milk, buttermilk, and chicken. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes

    More from The Stir: Lazy Mom Meals: Fast & Tasty Crock-Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

  • Dredge Chicken in Dry Ingredients

    4

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    In a shallow dish combine flour, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder. Dredge the chicken in the dry mix.

  • Heat Oil for Frying

    5

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    Add oil to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on high heat. Let the oil reach 350°F, using an instant-read thermometer.

  • Fry Chicken in Batches

    6

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    Work in batches. Temperature should hover around 350°F.

    Cook wings for about 15 minutes (turn at each 5-minute mark).

    Breast, thighs, and legs cook in about 25 minutes (turn at each 5-minute mark).

  • Enjoy Your Delicious Yardbird!

    7

    Image by Noah Fecks courtesy of The Countryman Press

    Transfer to jelly roll pan with cooling rack on top. This keeps the skin crispy. For easy cleaning, line with pieces of brown paper bags or paper towels.

    Garnish with parsley, if desired.

    More from The Stir: 8 Dinner Shortcuts Using Rotisserie Chicken

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