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Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken

Russ Myers


To make this juicy and delectably crisp chicken, the chicken soaks in a lemony brine, then coated and fried.
Adapted from: Chef Thomas Keller,s recipe

★★★★★ 1 vote
8 Servings
1 Hr 30 Min
Stove Top


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1 gal
cold water
1 c
plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 c
plus 2 tablespoons honey
bay leaves
head of garlic, smashed but not peeled
2 Tbsp
black peppercorns
3 large
rosemary sprigs
1 small
bunch of thyme
1 small
bunch of parsley
finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
3-pound chickens
3 c
all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp
garlic powder
2 Tbsp
onion powder
2 tsp
cayenne pepper
2 c
vegetable oil, for frying
rosemary and thyme sprigs, for garnish

How to Make Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken


  • 1In a very large pot, combine 1 quart of the water with 1 cup of the salt and the honey, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and parsley.

    Add the lemon zest and juice and the lemon halves and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the salt is dissolved.

    Let cool completely, then stir in the remaining 3 quarts of cold water.

    Add the chickens, being sure they're completely submerged, and refrigerate overnight.
  • 2Drain the chickens and pat dry.

    Scrape off any herbs or peppercorns stuck to the skin and cut each bird into 8 pieces, keeping the breast meat on the bone.
  • 3In a large bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne and the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.

    Put the buttermilk in a large, shallow bowl.

    Working with a few pieces at a time, dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the flour mixture, pressing so it adheres all over.

    Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  • 4In a very large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 330°.

    Fry the chicken in 2 or 3 batches over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and crunchy and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of each piece registers 160°, about 20 minutes.

    Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain, and keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining chicken pieces.

    Transfer the fried chicken to a platter, garnish with the herb sprigs and serve hot or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe Card

About Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken

Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: American

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