Recipe: Extra Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks
8 pieces bone-in chicken pieces (about 4 pounds total), preferably 4 drumsticks and 4 thighs
2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ground white pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground mustard
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup buttermilk
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons vodka or other neutral spirit
2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying
Deep Pot For Frying (like a Dutch Oven)
Candy or Deep-Fry Thermometer
2 Baking Sheets With Wire Cooling Racks
1 hour 30 minutes
- Place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Set aside and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Mix paprika, white pepper, garlic powder, ginger, celery salt, black pepper, mustard, thyme, basil, and oregano in a large bowl then coat the chicken with half of the mixture.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, and remaining 1 tablespoon salt to the remaining spice mix and whisk to combine then set aside. In a separate bowl add your buttermilk, egg whites, and alcohol then whisk to combine.
- Fit a wire rack over a second baking sheet.
- Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip in the buttermilk mixture, then the flour mixture. Shake the flour bowl as needed to completely coat the chicken, then use your fingers to press the flour coating onto the chicken.
- Place the coated chicken on the rack and repeat dredging the remaining chicken. Set aside at room temperature for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes while you set up for frying and heat the oil.
- Place the oil in a large Dutch oven, attach a candy or deep-fry thermometer, and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is 350°F, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and dry the empty baking sheet the chicken was seasoned on. Line this baking sheet with paper towels and fit with a second wire cooling rack; this will be your cooling station.
- Place 3 pieces of the chicken in the oil and fry, using tongs to rotate the pieces every 3 to 4 minutes and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain 325°F, until golden-brown with an internal temperature of 165°F (check by inserting a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken without touching bone), 12 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to the rack on the second baking sheet. Make sure the oil comes back up to 350°F before frying the remaining chicken in 2 more batches. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving