For this crisp, juicy fried chicken recipe with Mexican flavors, you’ll need to soak the chicken in buttermilk brine, then toss in flour seasoned with chili powder and cumin before deep-frying.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr, plus 4 hrs marinating time
- Active: 20 mins
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breast/wing pieces, 2 breast pieces)
- Canola or peanut oil for deep-frying
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 to 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Hot pepper sauce, for serving
- To brine the chicken, in a large gallon-sized zippered plastic bag, combine the buttermilk, salt, garlic, and oregano. Close the bag and shake to combine. Add the chicken and place in a shallow bowl or dish. Cover and refrigerate for 4–8 hours.
- In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2–3 inches. Heat over high heat to 325°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Place a large wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet next to the stove.
- While the oil is heating, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, chili powder, cumin, and baking powder. Remove the chicken from the brine, letting the excess drip off. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly, then transfer to a baking sheet.
- When the oil is ready, add about half the chicken pieces to the hot oil. Adjust the heat to keep the oil around 325°F. Fry, turning occasionally with tongs, until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer the chicken to the rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.