After making the steamed buns earlier, I realized I was supposed to be making fried chicken for dinner, a request from my four-year-old. This wasn’t the first “oh I forgot I was making fried chicken” moment either. But let me tell you, the two moments of forgetfulness helped me stumble upon a great recipe for fried chicken that takes very little time over two days.
Step 1. Buy chicken. I went with drumsticks. I like them, my four-year-old likes them. Really, who dislikes drumsticks (if you do stop reading now).
Step 2. Bring them home. Get the buttermilk out. Season the chicken with a little salt (I usually take a minute to make the chicken more modest by pulling the skin up around the leg) and put it into a seal-able container or seal-able bag. Pour to cover with butter milk. Plan on marinating it overnight (at least 24 hours).
Step 3. Forget that you were going to take it out and let it go another 12 hours. At this time you’ll want to get out the computer and read up on how long you should’ve marinated the chicken for in buttermilk. Ignore the advice you find (well except this advice).
Step 4. Go ahead and remove the chicken from the buttermilk, remove any excess buttermilk, salt the legs again (make sure they’ve hiked their skin back up) and lay on a rack over a sheet pan. Refrigerate uncovered for at least four hours to evaporate the surface moisture.
Step 5. Heat a half-inch or more of oil in a good-sized heavy pan over medium heat.
Step 6. Prepare your favorite seasoned flour mixture. I use Wondra flour, salt, pepper, powdered dehydrated celery, poultry seasoning, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, granulated garlic, and this or that depending on the day.
Prepare another shallow dish with more buttermilk.
Step 7. Now that the oil is to temperature (you’ll read anywhere between 320 and 350 on the good old internet), go ahead and dip the chicken in the flour mixture, shake, dredge in the buttermilk, and back into the flour mixture and then another shake.
Step 8. Add the coated chicken to the oil and fry at least 7 minutes per side, or until the chicken registers the government recommended temperature.
Step 9. Let it sit a few minutes and rest.
Step 10. Eat, go back for more, eat. Enjoy.
Total time was only about 45 minutes of work over the two days.