There's no arguing the point: Making even the simplest fried chicken is a kitchen production. So when you do go through the trouble, the recipe had better deliver. With a quick buttermilk brine to season the meat, keep it moist, and tenderize it, and with a simple coating of buttermilk-moistened flour that fries up to a deeply bronzed, crisp, and crunchy crust, this recipe will please the cook and diners alike.
Although it's not uncommon for fried chicken to be deep-fried, here we use the shallow-frying technique, but because the chicken cooks in a fair amount of fat, we call on a Dutch oven as the cooking vessel rather than a skillet. With the chicken parts only partially submerged in oil, the cooking time is longer than if they were fully submerged, but this suits slow-cooking bone-in chicken pieces just fine. Covering the pot during the first half of cooking helps ensure that the interior meat will be done at the same time as the exterior crust.
If you have leftovers, they crisp up and reheat nicely—heat them in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Total Cooking Time: about 2 hours
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Active Cooking Time: about 1 hour
Make Ahead: Serve immediately
Yield: 4 servings
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