Best-Ever Crispy Fried Chicken
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3½ teaspoons black pepper, divided
- 1 (4-pound) fryer (skin-on), cut into 8 pieces
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- Canola oil, as needed for frying
Whisk together buttermilk, garlic salt, kosher salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Place chicken in a large zip-top bag with buttermilk mixture. Marinate, refrigerated, for at least 12 hours (and up to 24 hours).
Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cayenne, paprika and remaining black pepper; place in a separate large zip-top bag. Lift a piece of chicken out of buttermilk mixture; allow excess to drain slightly. Add once piece of chicken at a time to bag; shake to coat well with flour mixture. Continue with remaining pieces.
Pour about 3 inches of oil into a large, deep skillet; oil should only come about halfway up sides of pan. Place over medium-high heat until oil registers 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Fry chicken in batches, skin-side down, until crisp and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn, and fry until golden brown on second side (and cooked through), about 8 to 10 minutes more. (Cook white meat to internal temperature of 165°F; cook dark meat to 175°F.)
Drain chicken on paper towels. Serve hot.