With its golden, crispy exterior and perfectly cooked insides, fried chicken can seem like a culinary feat, the purview of only a fry basket master. But on today's episode of Savvy, Pies 'n' Thighs chef Stephanie Dietz counters that assumption, with a simple, delicious recipe for frying chicken at home. Watch the video above, and follow along with the recipe below.
Pies 'n' Thighs Fried Chicken
1 cup coarse salt, plus more for serving
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3 1/2 pound) organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups all-purpose flour
Canola oil, for frying
Fill a large pot with 16 cups water and add salt and sugar; bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring, until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer brine to a large container; let cool completely.
Season chicken with paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Add chicken to brine; cover and transfer to refrigerator overnight.
Fill a large cast-iron skillet with canola oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.
Place flour in a shallow dish. Drain chicken and rinse under cold running water; dredge in flour, shaking off any excess. Add chicken to hot oil and cook until golden brown and crisp and chicken reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt and serve immediately.