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Crispy golden fried chicken

Homemade fried chicken recipe


Based on and adapted from The General’s Fried Chicken Recipe, from Alton Brown’s EveryDayCook

(A General is better than a Colonel!)


  • 8 pieces of chicken, preferably
    4 legs and 4 thighs (about 4 lbs.)
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
    • Cornstarch helps to make the breading more crisp and tender rather than hard.
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp. bourbon
    • Do not omit this ingredient! Alcohol evaporates almost immediately when deep frying, making the exterior of your chicken crispier than it would be without it.
  • 2 quarts peanut oil

Fried chicken ingredients


Prepare the Chicken the Day Before

  • Pat chicken pieces dry with a paper towel and season on all sides with salt. Let sit while you prepare the spice rub.

Salting the chicken for dry-brining

  • Combine the black pepper, sumac, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Divide the spice mixture in half and set aside one portion for later.
  • Using the other half of the spice mixture, apply the seasoning to all sides of the salted chicken.

seasoned chicken

  • Place the chicken pieces on a wire cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Dry brining the chicken

Make the Buttermilk and Flour Mixtures

  • Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and the remaining spice mixture in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, bourbon, and egg.

Coating the Chicken

  • One at a time, dunk the chicken pieces first into the buttermilk mixture, then into the flour mixture.
  • Press the flour mixture into the chicken pieces and set aside (for at least 10 minutes) while you prepare the oil for frying.

breading the chicken

Prepare the Oil for Frying

  • Pour the 2 quarts of peanut oil into a heavy cast iron dutch oven.
  • Attach the ChefAlarm’s probe to the side of the dutch oven with a pot clip.
  • Be sure the probe tip is suspended in the oil rather than resting on the bottom of the pan. (You can pinch the pot clip to slide the probe up and down but it will grip the probe when released.)
  • Set ChefAlarm’s high and low alarms:
    • High alarm: 350°F (177°C)
    • Low alarm: 320°F (160°C)
  • Over medium heat, preheat the oil to 350°F (177°C).

Frying the Chicken

  • Fry the chicken in two or three batches, so as not to crowd the pan and cool the oil too dramatically.
    • The oil’s temperature will drop after adding the chicken. Adjust the heat on the stove accordingly to maintain a temperature of 325°F (163°C) while frying the chicken.
      • (Heat the oil to 350°F (177°C) between batches.)
  • Turn the chicken pieces every 3-4 minutes to ensure even cooking on all sides. (You can use ChefAlarm’s built-in timer for this!)
  • After about 12-15 minutes of cooking, pull the chicken pieces out of the oil one at a time with tongs, and spot-check the internal temperature of each in multiple areas with a Thermapen.
    • If a temperature lower than 168°F (76°C) is found, continue cooking until a temperature of 168°F (76°C) is verified.
  • Once a temperature of 168°F (76°C) is verified, remove the chicken from the frying oil and rest on a wire cooling rack set over a paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite side dishes, and enjoy!

Fresh fried chicken