Cajun Fried ChickenNovember 11, 2019
This Cajun fried chicken recipe made with buttermilk turns out really crisp, slightly spicy, perfectly deep-fried loveliness thanks to its Southern charm and Louisiana personality. Quite literally the best we’ve had.
This Cajun fried chicken is bathed in buttermilk and spiced ever so slightly, making it memorably moist inside, superlatively crisp outside, and gosh darn perfect through and through.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Cajun Fried Chicken
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 35 M
- Serves 4 to 6
Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer
1. Pat the chicken dry. Place the chicken in a large bowl and season with the salt, pepper, cayenne, white pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce, and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
☞ TESTER TIP: The longer you can let the chicken stay in the fridge, the better as the seasonings will more thoroughly permeate the meat.
- 2. Remove the chicken from the dry spices, allowing any liquid to drip back into the bowl. Place the chicken in a clean bowl and pour the buttermilk over the top.
- 3. Heat the lard, vegetable shortening, or bacon fat in a large cast-iron skillet until it registers 350°F (176°C) on an instant-read thermometer or a pinch of flour immediately sizzles when dropped into the fat.
- 4. While the oil heats, remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing any excess liquid to drip off, and transfer the chicken to yet another clean bowl. (We know. Yet another bowl to wash. But the end result is worth the dirty dishes. We swear.)
- 5. Sprinkle the chicken with the flour and toss to coat.
- 6. When the oil is ready, add the chicken pieces to the skillet in batches, starting with the larger pieces and shaking off any excess flour before adding them to the oil. Do not crowd the skillet. For the crispest results, you want ample room around each piece in the oil. Cook the chicken, using tongs to turn the chicken occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, making sure the oil doesn’t get too hot.
- 7. Transfer the fried chicken to a plate lined with paper towels or to a brown paper bag. Return the oil to temperature before frying each subsequent batch of chicken. The smaller pieces will take about 6 minutes on each side.
- 8. Don’t be in such a rush to eat the fried chicken right out of the fat. It’s too hot, for one thing. And if you let it sit for a few minutes, the juices will settle and it will be more pleasurable to eat. Swear. Originally published June 26, 2011.
*What You Need To Know About How to Cut Your Chicken Before You Fry It
- You want to cut the chicken into 10 pieces instead of the more typical 8 by halving each chicken breast portion. You can ask your butcher to cut the chicken or you can do it yourself. All you need to do to create the extra 2 pieces is cut the breast in half crosswise, which will give you 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 4 pieces of chicken breast.
This is a brilliant trick. Not only does it make for smaller pieces with more surface area—hence more of that coveted spiced Cajun coating—but it ensures today’s size D-cup chicken breasts cook relatively quickly, circumventing the problem of the coating becoming burnt while waiting, waiting, waiting for the innermost meat to cook through. As one of our recipe testers commented, “Bigger chicken is not better in fried chicken heaven.” The result? Perfectly fried, obscenely juicy, tender white meat with ample Cajun spiced coating.
Cajun Fried Chicken Recipe © 2009 Donald Link. Photo © 2009 Chris Granger. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.