DeCandido Fried Chicken

All of my fried chicken turned out lousy until I tried this method from author and amazing human Keith DeCandido. My chicken was flavorless and the breading tended to be thin and fall off. With Keith's technique, however, I got thick, tasty skin and tender, juicy chicken. I made a few light adjustments, adding onion powder and poultry seasoning; I think I might add a little more sage next time, and Jim wants a variation with cayenne pepper because he's nuts.

Also, it helps if you don't drop the cornmeal container and explode half of it across your kitchen floor. Or so I'm told.

So, by popular demand, here it is:


chicken pieces
corn meal
onion powder
poultry seasoning
lots of oil

I use a large soup pot to reduce the spattering, but you can use any deep skillet you like. Heat up about two inches of oil. While it's warming, soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk. (I toss them in a bowl and let them sit, shifting them around so they all get equally soaked.

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a gallon-size baggie. Keep the ratio at about two parts flour to one part cornmeal. Add the seasonings to taste, though I'd warn you that if you think you've put in enough, you haven't.

Once your oil is nice and hot, shake the chicken pieces in the baggie until thoroughly covered, then put them in the oil. My family likes thighs and drumsticks, and they cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side, plus a little extra for a nice, crispy brown crust. I use a meat thermometer to make sure they aren't going to kill us, but in general, if the crust is nicely browned and the juices run clear, you're probably good. Allow to drain for a few minutes on paper towels before serving.