- 1 quart buttermilk
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (such as Crystal)
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken cut into 8 servings pieces
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Pepper Jelly Drizzle, for serving
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic, the celery salt, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper. Add the chicken, making sure it is evenly coated with the buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove it from the marinade; discard the marinade.
In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, 5 teaspoons salt, and 4 teaspoons pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to combine. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge the chicken completely in the flour, shaking to remove any excess, then dip it in the egg wash, allowing any extra to drip off, then give it a final roll in the flour. As you coat each piece, place it on a wire rack. Allow it to sit on the rack for 20 to 30 minutes—this will help “set” the crust.
Heat 11⁄2 to 2 inches of oil in a large cast iron skillet with high sides or Dutch oven to 325°F (don’t fill it more than half full with the oil). Working in batches, fry the chicken, turning it occasionally to promote even browning, until golden brown and crispy on all sides and cooked all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes. Wings and breasts will cook more quickly than the drumsticks and thighs. Transfer to a wire rack to drain, and let cool briefly before serving with Pepper Jelly Drizzle.
Refrigerating the chicken overnight in the buttermilk-hot sauce-garlic marinade ensures that the fried chicken will be moist and full flavored.
To avoid fried chicken that is uncooked in the middle, keep the temperature of the oil close to 325°F, and don't let it get higher than 350°F.