***RECIPE, MAKES 8 PIECES***
3-3.5 pound chicken
Up to 1 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
Vegetable or peanut oil
Cut the backbone out of the chicken using a pair of kitchen shears and discard. Cut the chicken in two by cutting between the breasts down through the breast bone. Cut the leg quarters off the breasts. Cut the legs from the thighs. Cut each breast into two parts of roughly equal mass, one with the wing still attached. You should now have 8 pieces of similar size.
Season all sides of the chicken liberally with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Season conservatively with cayenne. Place the chicken into a gallon ziplock bag and pour in just enough buttermilk to coat the chicken in a thick paste. Close the bag and smush it around until everything is coated. Brine in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
In a large lidded tupperware, place flour, 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder, and lots of pepper. Shake to combine. Remove chicken from the bag one piece at a time, scraping off excess buttermilk. Put four pieces in with the flour mixture. Put on the lid and shake to coat. Remove chicken to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining pieces.
Crack an egg into the bag and beat it roughly to mix it with the remaining buttermilk seasoning paste. Return all the chicken to the bag, close, and smush it until everything is coated again. Bread the pieces in the flour again, as before. Allow to sit on the rack for 30 min before frying.
Preheat two 10-inch skillets on medium heat, each with half an inch of oil in them. When oil is hot, add all four breast pieces to one pan, and all four dark meat pieces to the other. Put them in skin-side down. If necessary, add more oil so that it comes halfway up the sides of the pieces.
Fry the chicken at a gentle sizzle, which is an oil temperature of about 250 F. You’ll probably need to turn your burners down to near their lowest setting. Flip the pieces after 10-15 min, when a crust has fully formed on the underside. Fry the opposite side for 10-15 minutes. Turn the heat back up to medium and fry, flipping often, until all sides are sufficiently golden and the white meat temperature is reading 160 F. (The dark meat will be sufficiently cooked by the time the white meat is ready, and is not as sensitive to being over-cooked.) Remove chicken to a rack and cool 10 minutes before eating.
MY COOKING PHILOSOPHY:
I don't like weighing or measuring things if I don't have to, and I don't like to be constantly checking a recipe as I cook. I don't care that volume is a bad way of measuring things — it's usually easier. I like for a recipe to get me in the ballpark, and then I like to eyeball and improvise the rest. If you're like me, my goal with these videos is to give you a sense of how the food should look and feel as you're cooking it, rather than give you a refined formula to reproduce.