Chef Tiffani Faison of Boston's Sweet Cheeks Q and Tiger Mama brines the chicken in a combination of two powerful tenderizers—pickle juice and buttermilk. Her method of double dipping the chicken in the flour mixture and letting the bird air dry before frying makes the skin especially crispy.
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 cups dill pickle juice
- 2 tablespoons Tabasco
- 1 2½ pound whole organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika
- 2 tablespoons cayenne
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons onion powder
- 3 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon
- 3 cups corn flakes cereal, ground to a rough texture, but not fine
- Peanut oil, for frying
1. In a large container, make the brine by combining the buttermilk, pickle juice and Tabasco. Add the broken down chicken to the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder and chicken bouillon. Remove the chicken from the brine, reserving the remaining brining liquid for later.
3. Lightly coat each piece in the flour mixture. Place the coated chicken pieces on a rack and return them to the refrigerator for at least an hour, up to overnight. Sift the remaining flour mixture and reserve for later.
4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour before frying. Add the ground corn flakes to the reserved flour mixture. Dip the coated chicken into the reserved brining liquid and coat in the flour-and-cornflake mixture, shaking off the excess flour.
5. In a cast iron skillet, heat the peanut oil to 350°. Place the chicken in the skillet and using a thermometer, make sure the temperature stays between 325° to 350°. Fry the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Remove the chicken from the oil and season with salt. Serve.