Fried chicken so good it once brought my divorced parents together.
Can I top this recipe? Probably not in the memories department. Years ago while my father was still alive, I made fried chicken. He stopped by and picked up a bunch of it and drove it home. A short time later he called my mother and told her, "Do NOT eat that fried chicken. It is bad." My worried mother told me what he was saying and said, "I don't know George, it's possibly the best fried chicken I've ever had." My father replied, "I said don't eat it! I'll be right over to pick up the rest of it!!" We all got a laugh out it and I think I may have cried. My parents never got along before that, let alone laughed together. So you could say this fried chicken is life changing. It certainly was for me, and my parents who had a much better relationship going forward.
Wether you use bone in, dark meat, breasts, or tenders, it will all be delicious. The major difference is cooking time, and I tend to deep fry the bone in pieces as opposed to shallow fry. You can adjust the heat as well...in the buttermilk brine or flour mixture. I used to love some heat but I tend to dial it back now with a three year old in my house. Gluten-Free? That's easy! Use a gluten-free flour mixture instead! If you're making both gluten-free and traditional fried chicken for a party, make sure you cook them separate and use clean utensils for each or, cook the gluten-free first so you don't cross contaminate with the oil or buttermilk when double dipping them!
Lemon Herb Fried Chicken
Chicken (your choice, tenders are pictured)
Buttermilk, zest of 1 lemon, fresh thyme leaves (stems removed), pinch of good salt, splash of hot sauce if desired
Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
1 lemon, zested and sliced
Garlic cloves, fresh, unpeeled
AP Flour, or gluten-free flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder (about a teaspoon of each spice per cup of flour, but use half the amount of onion powder, and you can add a pinch of cayenne if you like spice). Or get Loveless Cafe's Fried Chicken Breading here: Loveless Cafe Store. I promise it's fabulous!
Prepare the buttermilk brine and allow the chicken to soak overnight, covered in the fridge.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. The thyme and zest should still stick in some places. Dredge in the seasoned flour, then dip into the buttermilk brine mixture, and then dredge again in the seasoned flour mixture.
Allow the chicken to sit on a parchment lined sheet pan for about 20 minutes, so the coating will stick before frying. In the meantime, begin to heat the oil. Place the herbs, garlic, and sliced lemon in the oil while it is cool and allow it to cook as the oil heats up. It will be done just as the oil comes to temperature, at which point remove the herbs, garlic, and lemon and reserve for serving. Drain on a paper bag or cooling rack over a lined sheet pan.
Fry the chicken (at 350-375 degree F) in small batches until golden brown and cooked thru. Time will depend on size and type of chicken you are using.
Remove from oil and again, drain the chicken on a paper bag or rack. Top with flaky sea salt and the herbs and garlic for serving.
Home cook, Mom, wife, and crafty creative, Mandy is from California and has traveled the world and lived in lots of places. She has fallen in love with Dallas, TX and calls it home.