Sourdough Pretzel Fried Chicken

Chef John DeLucie, of New York’s Empire Diner, uses tangy and crispy sourdough pretzels to guarantee the best-ever crunchy at-home fried chicken.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): plus overnight marinating

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buttermilk marinade:
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, rinsed and patted dry
sourdough pretzel crust:
  • 4 cups pretzel crumbs
  • 2 ground sourdough pretzel rods
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
mustard sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
batter and frying:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 quart soda water
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

How to make this recipe

  1. Marinate the chicken: In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, mustard powder, paprika, lemon zest and Tabasco; season with salt and pepper. Submerge the chicken in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, make the pretzel crust: In a medium bowl, combine the pretzel crumbs, sourdough pretzels, mustard powder, paprika, onion and garlic powders and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Make the mustard sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the Dijon with the vinegar, honey, whole-grain mustard. Stir in the canola oil until combined.

  4. Batter and fry the chicken: Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and soda water until combined. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the batter, then dredge in the sourdough pretzel mix, shaking off any excess. Transfer to the wire rack.

  5. In a large Dutch-oven or cast-iron skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Working in small batches, gently place the chicken in the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden brown and crisp, about 10-15 minutes, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a breast or thigh reaches 160°. Serve immediately with mustard sauce.

Contributed By Photo Phoebe Melnick / Food & Wine

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