Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken

LODGE CAST IRON'S BUTTERMILK-BRINED FRIED CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS

Hot Pepper Honey

  • 1/4 Cup Favorite Fruity Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Pinch of Fine Salt
  • 1 Cup Honey

Southern Buttermilk Brine

  • 3 Cups Hot Water
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp Cracked Black Peppercorn
  • 2 Cups Ice Cubes
  • 4 Cups Cold Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Whole Chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Seasoned Flour

  • 2 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 Qt Peanut Oil

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make the Hot Pepper Honey and Southern Buttermilk Brine.
  2. Pat the chicken pieces dry, and remove excess fat. Place the chicken in a heavy-duty brining bag or a nonreactive food-safe container with a lid. Pour the brine on the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. The smaller pieces will take less time and the larger pieces will take more time. DO NOT OVERBRINE or the chicken will be too salty.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the Seasoned Flour ingredients together.
  4. Remove the chicken from the brine; drain off the excess liquid. Coat evenly in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Let stand another 5 minutes before frying.
  5. Pour enough oil in a Lodge 5-quart cast iron chicken fryer to reach 1/2 inch up the side. Heat the oil to 325°F. You may have to adjust the heat level under the pot to maintain a steady temperature.
  6. Immediately place the chicken, skin side down, in the hot oil and cover the pot. Once you see that the bottom of the chicken pieces are golden brown and the tops are beginning to cook, about 10 minutes, turn the chicken over. Place the lid back on the pot, and fry for another 5 minutes or so. You can remove the lid when the chicken is almost done to crisp up the skin. Cook a total of 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Remember, turn only once, and larger pieces may take longer. The chicken should be cooked all the way to the bone. Note: It may help to place the thighs in the middle of the skillet where the oil is the hottest and surround them with the breast, legs, and wings.
  7. Drain the chicken on a wire rack set on a baking sheet, and place in a low oven (250°F to 300°F) until ready to serve. Serve with the Hot Pepper Honey on the side.
  8. Enjoy!