At the 21c Museum Hotel in Nashville, chef Levon Wallace makes buckets of his old-school fried chicken, which is extra-crispy, extra-crunchy and just the right amount of salty. If you want to get really fancy, he says, drizzle the chicken with honey and your favorite spice blend, or serve it alongside some bubbly.Slideshow:More Fried Chicken Recipes
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 cup kosher salt
One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 tablespoon pepper
Peanut or canola oil, for frying
How to Make It
In a large bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the hot sauce, onion powder and 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the cornmeal, pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, pressing all over so it adheres. Transfer the coated chicken to a large baking sheet and let stand for 15 minutes.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 365°. Line another baking sheet with paper towels. In 2 batches, fry the chicken at 325°, turning occasionally, until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest piece registers 160°, 12 to 15 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to the paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Serve hot.
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