Buttermilk-Brined Fried Chicken With Sage


For the brine

  • 3 cups cultured buttermilk (see note)
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup hot sauce, like Frank’s
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 chickens, each cut into 8 pieces

For the breading

  • 4 cups flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups finely ground white or yellow cornmeal
  • 20 leaves sage, minced
  • ¼ cup dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ½ cup dried thyme
  • About 2 quarts vegetable oil
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

      1915 calories; 134 grams fat; 18 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 83 grams monounsaturated fat; 25 grams polyunsaturated fat; 111 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 64 grams protein; 250 milligrams cholesterol; 4408 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

Serves 8


For the brine

  1. Twenty-four hours before cooking, prepare the brine: In a large bowl, whisk 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water with the remaining brine ingredients until the salt has dissolved. Submerge the chicken pieces in the brine. Cover and refrigerate. (To save space, you can also put the chicken and brine in a large sealable bag.)
  2. When ready to cook, prepare the breading by whisking together 2 cups of the flour and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs to break them up, then whisk in the buttermilk. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, the cornmeal, sage, mustard, paprika, thyme and 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  3. Dredge the chicken in the plain flour, then in the buttermilk, then in the cornmeal mixture, taking care not to let the breading get too thick. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, set a large 12-to-14-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and fill with oil to 11/2 inches below the top. Heat until the oil reaches 325 degrees. Working in batches, fry the chicken pieces, turning them 3 or 4 times to create an even, dark-golden crust. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. (Place a splatter guard over the pan as you fry.)
  • Look for cultured buttermilk with the fewest ingredients, usually available at health-food stores. Shake well before pouring.

10 minutes

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