Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken
Yield 8 servings
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp honey
- 12 bay leaves
- 1 head garlic smashed but not peeled
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 3 large rosemary sprigs
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 2 lemons finely zested
- 2 3- pound chickens
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish
- In a very large pot, combine 1 quart of the water with 1 cup of the salt and the honey, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and parsley. Add the lemon zest and juice and the lemon halves and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the salt is dissolved.
- Let cool completely, and then stir in the remaining 3 quarts of cold water.
- Add the chickens, being sure they’re completely submerged, and refrigerate overnight.
- Drain the chickens and pat dry. Scrape off any herbs or peppercorns stuck to the skin and cut each bird into 8 pieces, keeping the breast meat on the bone.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Put the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl. Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- In a very large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 330˚F. Fry the chicken in 2 or 3 batches over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and crunchy and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160˚, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain, and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining chicken pieces.
- Transfer the fried chicken to a platter, garnish with the herb sprigs and serve hot or at room temperature.
Recipe by Central Market at https://centralmarket.com/recipes/lemon-brined-fried-chicken/