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Fried Chicken Recipe

Written by the YesChef staff

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Edward Lee
Teaches From Buttermilk to Bourbon
Learn how to make the most crispy, crunchy, and undeniably juicy fried chicken recipe. It’s drizzled in a tangy and spicy gochujang sauce and served with a fresh Asian-inspired coleslaw recipe. If you’re a home chef looking to make the best fried chicken recipe ever, you have come to the right place. Chef Edward Lee teaches us his master techniques on how to create that quintessential crispy crust and juicy center in his YesChef class, Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce and Slaw. And if you thought the fried chicken wasn’t enough, it’s served alongside a spicy gochujang Korean hot sauce and fresh Asian pear coleslaw that embodies his Southern heritage and Korean roots.
Chef Edward Lee
Teaches From Buttermilk to Bourbon

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The secret is all in the fry. It’s much easier to prepare a shallow fry buttermilk fried chicken recipe than making a deep fry restaurant-style fried chicken recipe. At home we need less equipment, less oil, but we add tons of flavor.

What does soaking chicken in buttermilk do?

Buttermilk marinade for chicken is a wonderful soaking and tenderizing agent. The acidity in the milk will break down and destabilize the chicken’s protein structure, resulting in a much more tender piece of meat.   Don’t have buttermilk at home? Make your own buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice to every 1 cup of milk. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before using.

What is fried chicken batter made of?

Today’s batter for fried chicken is made with all-purpose flour. We season the flour with salt, white pepper, and smoked paprika.

How long does it take to fry chicken?

Our best estimate is that it takes fried chicken 12-16 minutes to cook in a cast iron skillet filled with a few inches of oil set to 350°F (180°C) 

That being said, the time depends on the size of the chicken and whether you prefer fried chicken breasts, wings, legs, or thighs. Chef Edward Lee recommends dark meat chicken for its higher fat content, always with the bone-in. More fat and a thick bone equals a more flavorful and juicier piece of chicken.

Fried Chicken Recipe

Preparation time Hands-on: 30 minutes | Total: 1 hour 45 minutes Serving size 2 servings   Ingredients
  • 32 fluid ounces (1 liter) buttermilk
  • 4 pounds (approx 2 kilograms) chicken drumsticks and thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 32 fluid ounces (1 liter) corn or canola oil
  • Furikake seasoning, for garnish

Gear:

  • Bowl
  • 2 egg cartons
  • 14-inch skillet 
  • 4 paper towels
  • Serving dish
  • Bowl, large shallow bowl
  • Stainless steel tablespoon
  • Tongs
  • Serving board 
  • Mesh strainer
Method
  • Pour buttermilk into a bowl and add chicken, pushing down with your hands to ensure chicken is completely covered.
  • Marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours in the fridge.
  • Add flour, salt, white pepper, and smoked paprika to a shallow bowl and mix.
  • Using your hands, gently place chicken in the flour mixture and coat evenly.
  • Place dredged chicken on egg cartons for 10-15 minutes while the oil comes up to temperature.
  • Pour oil into a large shallow skillet and let it get to 350°F (180°C) on medium heat.
  • Gently place the chicken, skin side up, in the hot oil with space in between.
  • Cook for 12-16 minutes, gently flipping every few minutes.
  • Once ready, remove chicken from hot oil, let excess oil drain off, and dry the chicken on paper towels.
  • Transfer chicken to a serving dish.
  • Optional: Place your bowl of slaw on the side and coat your classic fried chicken with gochujang sauce right before serving.
  • Garnish with furikake to add a punch of color and texture.
  • Serve immediately.

Gochujang Sauce Recipe

Ingredients
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon jalapeño pickle brine
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  Gear
  • Mixing bowl, at least 1.5 quarts
  • Stainless steel tablespoon
  • Whisk
  Method
  • Scoop gochujang into a bowl.
  • Add sesame oil, Dijon mustard, bourbon jalapeño pickle brine, honey, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce and whisk to combine.
  • Add water and whisk to create a thick, but pourable sauce.
  • Set aside until needed or cover tightly and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Asian Pear and Cabbage Slaw Recipe

Ingredients
  • 3 large savoy cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Asian pears, peeled and cut into batons
  • Handful of cilantro and/or parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  Gear
  • Bowl, at least 0.5 quarts
  • 6-inch knife
  • Cutting board
  • Microplane
  • Mixing bowl, at least 1.5 quarts
Method
  • Add cabbage, Asian pears and herbs to a large bowl.
  • Grate ginger into the same bowl and sprinkle salt, white pepper, and sugar.
  • Finish with rice wine vinegar and toss well to combine.
  • Allow the slaw to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Did you enjoy this fried chicken recipe by chef Edward Lee?

Fried Chicken Video Notes

  • Why Buttermilk? There’s an acidity in buttermilk that is going to tenderize and break down the chicken. Also adds flavor.
  • Don’t ever cook white meat with chicken, there’s not enough fat. A lot of flavor comes from the bone.
  • The longer the chicken marinades, the more tender the chicken will be.
  • Gochujang – Korean fermented chili paste, deep umami flavor, a little sweetness from sugar, spicy and hot
  • When making a complicated sauce, make sure all the ingredients are lined up.
  • Chili spices hit the back of the throat, mustard is a brighter spice, more upfront in the nasal.
  • Need acidity to balance the flavor + sweetness, fresh garlic is too strong
  • Restaurant fried chicken deep fried vs shallow fried
  • Buttermilk and flour mixture create a crust. If you fry the chicken right away, all the flour will release into the oil and will not stick to the chicken.
  • Lay the dredged chicken on egg cartons to create air circulation for the bottom of chicken.
  • Always have a lid handy. The fastest way to put out a fire of hot oil is to put a lid on it.
  • If something changes in the sound of the sizzling chicken, you know something has changed in the cooking process, so you can look for it.

Edward Lee

James Beard Award’s Best Book of the Year winner for writing (Buttermilk Graffiti, 2019); James Beard Award’s Best Chefs in America nominee, 2011-2017), featured on PBS’s Mind of a Chef (Season 3)

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