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Rosemary-Brined, Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  • prep: 0 hr
  • cook: 0 hr
  • total: 0 hr
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  • Summary

    This is the best fried chicken, ever. There I said it. If it's not, then I want to try yours. I started paying attention to fried chicken in a serious way when I began work on the book Ad Hoc At Home. Ad Hoc is Thomas Keller's Napa Valley restaurant devoted to family meals. It offers one family meal each night, and everyone eats it. The fried chicken is so popular that it is served twice a week. Chefs Jeff Cerciello and Dave Cruz have tried all kinds of methods, mainly centering on the best crust. They decided that the trio of flour, buttermilk, and flour is best, and I agree. But the key here is the brine. Salt keeps the chicken juicy and seasoned, and also helps pull the rosemary deep into the flesh. So even after the rapture from eating the crust has passed, the flavor of the chicken holds you. This brine, like all brines flavored with aromatics, is best when you bring the ingredients to a simmer in all the water. But if you're like me, sometimes you'll be caught short and need to hurry things along. If you have a scale, you can bring half the water to a simmer with the other brine ingredients, let the aromatics steep for 20 minutes. Measure the remaining water as ice and pour the brine over the ice. Or simply combine the brine with cold water. Because so few people make fried chicken at home, I like to serve it to friends. Happily, it's a great do-head dish; the chicken will keep well for a couple of hours. You can fry it and then keep it on a rack in a 250°F/120°C/gas 1/2 oven until you need it. If you have a convection oven, use that feature to keep the crust crisp. The thighs will become delectably tender given the extra time in the low heat. Serve on a platter garnished with branches of deep-fried rosemary and grated lemon zest.


    • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of a knife
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • Kosher salt
    • 5 or 6 branches rosemary, each 4 to 5 inches/10 to 12 centimeters long
    • 4 1/2 cups/1 liter water
    • 1 lemon, quartered
    • 8 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated
    • 8 chicken wings, wing tips removed
    • 3 cups/420 grams all-purpose/plain flour
    • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons paprika
    • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
    • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 2 cups/480 milliliters buttermilk
    • Oil for deep-frying


    Click Here For Step-By-Step Instructions




    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 6
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 716 % Daily Value *
    • Total Fat: 29 g 44.59%
    • Saturated Fat: 8 g 40.55%
    • Trans Fat: 0 g %
    • Cholesterol: 243 mg 80.89%
    • Sodium: 3023 mg 125.98%
    • Calcium: 252 mg 25.22%
    • Potassium: 755 mg 21.58%
    • Magnesium: 0 mg 0%
    • Iron: 6 mg 31.91%
    • Zinc: 0 mg 0%
    • Total Carbohydrate: 59 g %
    • Dietary Fiber: 4 g 14.96%
    • Sugar: 5 g
    • Protein: 52 g
    • Alcohol: 0 g
    • Omega 3 Fatty Acid: 0 g
    • Omega 6 Fatty Acid: 5 g
    • Vitamin A 26.72%
    • Vitamin C 9.81%
    • Vitamin D 3.35%
    • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Diabetes Exchanges
    • Exchange - Fat3
    • Exchange - Fruit0
    • Exchange - NonFat Milk0
    • Exchange - Other Carbs0
    • Exchange - Starch3
    • Exchange - Vegetables0
    • Exchange - Lean Meat6
    • Exchange - Alcohol0
    MyPlate Info
    • MyPlate - Grain Total4 oz-eq
    • MyPlate - Vegetable Total0 c
    • MyPlate - Fruit0 c
    • MyPlate - Dairy0 c
    • MyPlate - Protein Total6 oz-eq