Adapted from several sources, but mostly Cook’s Illustrated
2 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chickens, cut into 10 pieces each (breasts cut in half)
5 cups buttermilk
1 cup kosher salt
2 medium garlic heads, mashed but not peeled
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
6 cups flour
Mix brine ingredients in a large bowl. Place the chicken pieces in brining solution and refrigerate for two to three hours. Remove and place on rack to air-dry.
Mix batter ingredients and place in a large bowl. Place coating in large pan to coat chicken.
Coat chicken with flour, then place in batter. Drain excess batter off chicken and place in flour again and cover. Use tongs for transfers.
To fry, heat peanut oil to 375 degrees in a cast-iron skillet. Do not fill the pot more than half full with oil. Place five to six pieces of chicken, skin side down first, in the skillet and cook, covered for seven minutes. Turn chicken and cook, uncovered, for another seven minutes. Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F before frying the next batch.
Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan, keeping warm in the oven until ready to serve.
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