Ad Hoc at Home: Fried Chicken Recipe (current tie for best recipe of the year … so far)

Zach and I made Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Quiche last fall (“You Can Quiche Your Day Goodbye!”) and found out that Keller’s recipes are labor intensive but incredible.  We decided to make Fried Chicken for a friends birthday this weekend from Thomas Keller’s new cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home. Once again Thomas Keller wowed us with another one of his labor intensive, incredible recipes.  Colonel Sanders watch out!


  • We added a bit more spice to the dredge mixture and it was a great addition with a kick.
  • Start 12-14 hours before you want to eat (the night before or first thing in the AM)! You must brine the chicken pieces first!
  • Use peanut oil for best tasting results but you can also use vegetable or canoloa oil.
  • You will need a deep fry thermometer.

Ad Hoc at Home: Fried Chicken Recipe

2, 2.5-3 lb whole chickens: How to cut up Chicken for Frying (in images)

* In Keller’s cookbook, he also has images on how to cut up the chicken into pieces.

Brine Ingredients

1 gallons cold water

1  cups kosher salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey

12 bay leaves

1 head of garlic, cut down the equator

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 large rosemary sprigs

1 small bunch of thyme

1 small bunch of parsley

2-3 lemons sliced in half

Directions for Brine:

In a large stock pot, combine  all brine ingredients. Add the lemon zest and juice and the lemon halves and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Let cool completely, then stir in the remaining 3 quarts of cold water. Add the chickens, being sure they’re completely submerged, and refrigerate overnight (our do it early in the morning when you wake up if you forgot to do it the night before!).

Drain and rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Make sure the chicken is really dry and that you scrape off any herbs or peppercorns stuck to the skin.  Make sure chicken is very dry.

Dredge Ingredients (we addd a bit more spiciness/amounts to the dredge)

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons onion powder

3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

3 teaspoons paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, ground black pepper and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt. Put the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl. Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with wax paper or use a wire rack. Let sit for 20 minutes and then redredge the chicken in buttermilk and flour before frying.

In a very large pot or dutch oven, heat oil to 360F (need a deep fry thermometer). Use enough oil to deep fry the chicken. The chicken should take 12-15 minutes to fry each batch.  When a batch is done you can put it on a cookie sheet and keep it warm in the oven (150-200F).  Fry the chicken in 2 or 3 batches until golden and crunchy and the internal temperature is 160F/60C (about 20 minutes).

We served the fried chicken with greens and homemade fries.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.