Thomas Keller Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Makes 24 pieces

Thomas Keller is one of the most famous chefs in the world. His restaurant, The French Laundry is one of the hardest restaurants to make a reservation, in the entire world. This recipe for his fried chicken was the best fried chicken I have ever had!!!!

Brining
24 cups water
1 cup coarse kosher salt ( see email about kosher salt)
1/2 cup plus 1 TB honey
18 Bay leaves
30 unpeeled cloves of garlic, smashed
3 TB whole black peppercorns
5 large rosemary sprigs
1 1/2 bunches fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 bunches Italian parsley
2 TB finely grated lemon peel
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3  3 1/2-pound chickens

Frying

6 cups all purpose flour
5 TB garlic powder
5 TB onion powder
4 tsp paprika
4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp coarse kosher salt, plus additional for serving
6 cups buttermilk
12 cups peanut oil for deep frying
Fresh Rosemary and Thyme sprigs ( for garnish), deep fried 30 seconds ( optional)

Brining/ Bring all ingredients except chickens to boil in large pot. Boil 1 minute stirring to dissolve salt. Cool completely. Chill brine until cold, about 2 hours.
Rinse chickens; add to brine, pressing to submerge. Chill at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain chickens and pat dry, removing any herbs or spices sticking to skin. Cut each chicken into 8 pieces.

Frying/ Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. Mix first 6 ingredients and 4 tsp coarse salt in large bowl. Place buttermilk in another large bowl. Dip each piece of chicken piece in flour mixture to coat; shake off excess. Dip pieces in buttermilk, coating completely, then dip into flour mixture again coating thickly ( do not shake off excess). Place chicken on prepared sheets. Let stand 1 to 2 hours at room temperature to dry.
Pour peanut oil into heavy large pot. Attach deep fry thermometer to side of pot and heat oil over medium-high heat to 320 to 330 degrees. Working in batches of 4 pieces at a time, add leg and thigh pieces to oil ( use splatter screen to protect yourself from hot oil). Adjust heat as needed to maintain temperature. Fry until cooked through and skin is deep golden brown, turning once with wooden spoon ( to prevent crust from breaking), about 13 minutes. Using woodes sppons, transfer chicken to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Add breast pieces to oil and fry until cooked through and skin is deep golden brown, turning once, about 7 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter. serve warm or let stand up to 2 hours and serve at room temperature. Garnish with herb sprigs.
Note: I like it both room temp and hot, but I think with mashed potatoes and dinner, I would serve it Hot!!

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