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How To Make Fried Chicken - The Thomas Keller Way

Learn how to make world-famous chef Thomas Keller's buttermilk fried chicken. A 12-hour brine is the key to this incredibly flavorful and juicy fried chicken. The buttermilk and seasoned flour dredge produces a perfectly crisp crust that’ll make you feel like a chicken frying pro, even if it’s your first time.
  Chicken pieces 6 Pound (Two 2 1/2 - 3 Pound chickens used)
For the brine
  Water 2 Gallon
  Kosher salt 10 Ounce (2 Cups Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt used / Soaked in brine and brine discarded)
  Lemons 5 Medium, halved
  Bay leaves 12 Medium
  Fresh parsley 4 Ounce (One bunch used)
  Clover honey 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Garlic head 1 Medium, halved through the equator
  Black peppercorns 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
The dry ingredients for dredging the chicken pieces
  All purpose flour 6 Cup (96 tbs)
  Garlic powder 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Onion powder 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Paprika 20 Gram (1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp)
  Cayenne 20 Gram (1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp)
  Kosher salt 20 Gram (1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp)
  Freshly ground black pepper 1 Teaspoon
The wet ingredient for dredging the chicken pieces
  Buttermilk 1 Quart
  Salt To Taste (To season the buttermilk)
  Pepper To Taste (To season the buttermilk)
For frying
  Peanut oil/Canola oil 4 Cup (64 tbs) (For deep frying - As needed for 2-inches oil in a 6-inch deep pot)
For seasoning the fried chicken
  Fine sea salt To Taste (Fleur De Sel)
For garnishing
  Rosemary sprigs To Taste
  Thyme sprigs To Taste

1. Two days before cooking, make the brine: Combine ingredients for the brine in a large pot.
2. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring until salt dissolves.
3. Allow brine to come to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
4. Hours before cooking, brine the chicken: Cut each chicken into 10 pieces and place the pieces into the cold brine.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. (No more or the chicken could become too salty).
6. About 2 hours before cooking, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse to remove any herbs or debris.
7. Lay out on paper towels to air dry.

8. Minutes before cooking, fill a large pot (at least 6 inches deep) with at least 2 inches oil. (Do not fill the pot more than 1/3 of the way up)
9. Heat until it reaches 320 F.
10. Meanwhile, take 3 large bowls. Pour the buttermilk (seasoned with salt and pepper)into one, and the dry ingredients into another.
11. Stir to combine the dry ingredients, and divide half into the third remaining bowl.
12. Take 2 baking sheets. Line one with parchment paper – this will be used to place the chicken as you’re dredging, and one with a cooling rack – this will be used to drain the chicken after frying.
13. Dredge the thighs into the first bowl of seasoned flour; dip in the buttermilk, gently shaking off excess; dredge in the second bowl of seasoned flour.
14. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining thighs.
15. Carefully lower all 4 thighs into the oil. Fry for 2 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to hold the correct temperature.
16. Move the pieces gently, turning them so that they brown evenly, and cook for another 11 - 12 minutes until the chicken is deep golden brown and cooked through.
17. Meanwhile, coat the drumsticks and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
18. Remove the thighs carefully and place on the cooling rack, skin-side-up (this allows the fat to drain and prevents greasy chicken).
19. Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel or fine sea salt.
20. Fry the drumsticks in the same manner, taking care that the oil remains at the correct temperature. When the drumsticks are done, remove them and lean them meat-side-up against the thighs. Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.
21. Turn the heat up so that the oil reaches 340 degrees F.
22. Meanwhile, coat the breasts and the wings. Lower the breasts into the oil and fry for 7 minutes. Remove to the rack, skin-side-up. Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.
23. Fry the wings for 6 minutes; transfer to the rack and sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.
24. Turn off the heat and drop the herb sprigs into the hot oil. Let them sizzle for 10 seconds or so, then transfer to the rack.

25. Serve chicken on a large platter with herbs.

If you do not have a large pot for brine, then use two smaller ones.
Do not refrigerate the chicken for more than 12 hours because refrigerating more will make your chicken salty.
Do not fill the pot more than 1/3 of the way up with oil.
Chicken thighs to be fried for about 12 - 14 minutes to cook evenly.
Chicken breast should be fried for 7 minutes, and the wings for 6 minutes.
You can rewarm in a 400 F oven for 5 minutes later if you need to.

Things You Will Need
1. Two baking sheets
2. Parchment paper

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
60 Minutes
Ready In: 
75 Minutes

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Average: 3.6 (3 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 701 Calories from Fat 146

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 16 g25.3%

Saturated Fat 3.3 g16.5%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 158.7 mg52.9%

Sodium 882.5 mg36.8%

Total Carbohydrates 76 g25.3%

Dietary Fiber 5.5 g22%

Sugars 8.8 g

Protein 61 g121.4%

Vitamin A 51.3% Vitamin C 71.2%

Calcium 11.2% Iron 39.7%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

How To Make Fried Chicken - The Thomas Keller Way Recipe Video