Austin has declared this fried chicken one of his very favorites. I like it because it has a quick fry time and then finishes “hands off” in the oven, so it’s convenient when guests are coming over and there are multiple other dishes that need to be prepared right before dinner is served. I make this with mini-chicken legs because they’re the only kind of chicken we can buy frozen here in town, and frozen= convenient! But with a little adjusting to cook times, this could easily be adapted for bigger chicken legs or wings, chicken breast pieces, etc.
about 15-20 mini chicken legs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ Tablespoon salt
½ Tablespoon black pepper
oil for frying
Directions and Notes:
1. Place thawed chicken legs in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or preferably a little longer, overnight.
2. After the chicken has soaked in the buttermilk for several hours, combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
3. In a medium frying pan, heat about 1” of oil until it is really hot. (I don’t use a thermometer for an exact temperature… roughly 200- 250 degrees Fahrenheit is okay, but as long as it’s up there, it will work.)
4. When the oil is nice and hot, dip each piece of chicken into the flour mixture and then place it into the hot oil. Allow it to fry for 1-2 minutes on one side, then flip it to the other side for another 1-2 minutes. (This step is just giving it a fast fry to crisp up the outside. The chicken will finish out its cook time in the oven, so a fast fry just until the outer layer is beginning to take on a light golden color is enough.)
5. Remove the chicken and place it on a wire rack above a baking sheet for easy clean up.
6. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes until cooked through (longer for bigger chicken pieces).