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Rachael shares a spicy fried chicken recipe that's worth the overnight brine.
For her Memorial Day menu, Rach serves the chicken with her Oil 'n' Vinegar Slaw With Poppy Seeds.
Pro tip: Cut chicken breasts in half across the middle so that they are relative in size and shape with thighs.
- 6 cups water
- 4 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 small bundle of thyme, tied with kitchen string
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 8 to 12 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, thigh and drummer
- About 2½ cups flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion
- 2 tablespoons paprika or pimenton/smoked sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning or ground thyme
- 2 teaspoons, cayenne pepper
- Peanut or safflower oil, for frying, 6 to 8 cups depending on size of your cast iron skillet, about 2 inches of oil
- Cayenne pepper sauce (Rach's go-to is Frank's RedHot)
- Sliced pickles
- Good-quality white bread, sliced
- Oil 'n' Vinegar Slaw With Poppy Seeds
For the brine, in a medium pot, heat water with garlic, bay, peppercorns, and thyme to low simmer, add sugar and salt to dissolve, and transfer brine to large container or bowl. Add 4 to 5 cups of ice and melt to cool.
Add chicken to brine and chill overnight.
Mix flour and seasonings in a large casserole or large paper bag.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil to 350˚F or between medium (just over medium) to medium-high heat.
Remove chicken from brine, transfer to a sheet tray with a rack and pat dry. In batches, coat with flour and transfer back to rack.
Fry chicken in 2 batches, about 10 to 11 minutes, turning occasionally, and remove to brown paper- or towel-lined platter or another sheet tray with a wire rack and season with a bit more salt. Serve with hot sauce, honey, pickles, white bread and slaw.