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Jul 23, 2011 12:34 PM

Prep chicken for frying?

I'm attempting to make fried chicken for the first time. I always prep my roast chicken ala Judy Rodgers/Zuni Cafe by rubbing salt & pepper into the chicken 2 days before I plan to use it. How should I prep my chicken pieces for frying? I have Thomas Keller's brine recipe, but I'm not organized enough to get the brine made and cooled in time to brine the meat overnight. Any simple brines/solutions I should use?


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  1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with salt and pepper. Some people like some paprika or cayenne pepper. I have soaked in Buttermilk, but actually prefer the simple salt/pepper route.

    1. I like buttermilk and Old Bay seasning.

      1. that keller fried chicken is the best i have ever had/made. you can make the brine ahead if time crunch might be a factor.

        if you're entirely ruling it out, then let the pieces sit, uncovered in the fridge for at least a day to dry out the skin. then i shake it in a bag with flour, salt, pepper and cayenne. shake off the excess coating and get to it.

        1. Make sure your lard is completely melted ...

          1. I soak mine for at least 30 minutes in buttermilk mixed with hot sauce and lemon-pepper. Get the oil nice and hot - add some bacon grease to it if you'd like, and fry a few pieces at a time. To me, draining it is very important. I drain mine on a rack set over paper towels - works great. After I dredge the chicken I let it sit on the rack to let it dry a little, before frying.