The Mak's Fried Chicken

Photo by my friend @eliphantc

With my adaptation based on Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc recipe on Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Chicken Brine
(For 2 pounds of chicken - either thigh, drumstick, or breast)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 head garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 quart water
The Lazy Version of Chicken Brine
  • 1/2 cup salt and 2 quart water. Don't bother with boiling and chilling.
  • Combine all in a large pot, cover, bring to a boil, let cool. Chill before using.
  • Place chicken pieces in brine for at least 4 hours, up to 12 hours.
Photo by the author
Flour Coating  
  • 1.5 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
The Lazy Version of Flour Coating
  • 1.5 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Lay out 3 dishes or bowls and a roasting pan in a row.
  • Place flour coating in 1st and 3rd dishes.
  • Place buttermilk in 2nd dish.
  • Dry all chicken pieces thoroughly with paper towel.
  • Use one hand (the dry hand) to place each chicken piece in 1st dish. Coat. Put into 2nd dish.
  • Use second hand (the wet hand) to coat in 2nd dish. Put into 3rd dish.
  • Use first hand (the dry hand) to coat chicken piece in 3rd dish. Then place on roasting pan.
  • After all is done, refrigerate for an hour to make sure coating is firmly placed on chicken pieces.
  • Heat up frying oil (Be really careful and don't burn down your house!) to 375 F.
  • If chicken pieces are bone-in: Fry drumsticks or thighs for about 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  • If chicken pieces are boneless: Breast or boneless thighs can be fried for about 8 to 10 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 F. If pieces are small (like bite size) the timing can be even shorter.
  • Rest on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite sauces (optional).
  • Do not put more oil than half of your pan height.
  • I love using my Chinese wok. A cast iron pan can work too. A small sauce pan can be used for a small portion. A fryer may work best to minimize mess.
  • Make sure your pot or wok is well stabilized. Turn up kitchen hood to max.
  • Prevent burning (dark skin) by managing your oil temperature. If it exceeds 400 F chicken pieces will burn quickly.
  • Prevent soggy chicken by managing oil temperature to drop not under 325 F.
Photo by the author