I goofed and didn’t make the brine exactly as written in the original recipe. It came out fine but, should you attempt this recipe yourself, here’s the original. I rewrote the recipe below as I made it.
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves smashed with the flat side of a knife
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 6 branches rosemary each 4 to 5 inches long
- 4½ cups water
- 1 lemon halved
- 12 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 cups buttermilk
- In a large bowl, combined the onion, garlic, rosemary, water, and salt. Squeeze the lemon into the water and toss the lemon in too. Stir until salt is dissolved.
- Put the chicken pieces in a large, sturdy plastic bag. (Or bags.) You may find it helpful to set the bag in a large bowl for support. Pour the brine and aromatics over the chicken and seal the bag so that as much air is removed as possible. Refrigerate 24 hours, massaging the bag periodically to redistribute the chicken and the brine.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Set on a rack or paper towels in the fridge to help dry out the skin. I did this for 24 hours but I think the result left the skin a bit tough. Next time, I’ll do it for 8 hours or so.
- Combine the flour, black pepper, paprika, sea salt, cayenne, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Combine this mixture between two bowls. Set a rack on a baking sheet.
- Using an assembly line process, dredge the chicken in the first bowl of flour and shake off excess. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk. Dredge it ‘aggressively’ in the second bowl of flour and place on the rack.
- Heat a neutral, high-heat oil (like canola) in a deep pan or dutch oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees Celsius. Add as many pieces as you can without crowding the pan, turning occasionally. Allow to cook 13-15 minutes, depending on their size. Remove to a clean rack and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Ruhlman mentions that he likes to finish them in a 250 degrees F/120 degrees Celsius oven. This worked out fabulously for me. The chicken stayed beautifully crisp and kept warm. They were cooked perfectly.