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Commonwealth Fried Chicken

Commonwealth Fried Chicken
2 votes, 3.50 avg. rating (72% score)
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Total Time: 45 minutes, plus at least 2 hours brining time

Hands On Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Commonwealth Cambridge restaurant in Cambridge, MA has a particularly delicious fried chicken that Chef Steve “Nookie” Postal was kind enough to share. He soaks his chicken in a buttermilk brine for three full days before he fries it, leaving the meat melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly seasoned, but we found that even a 2-hour soak produced delicious chicken. In addition, because this recipe for perfect fried chicken calls for boneless thighs, the meat cooks quickly and still has plenty of flavor.

Of course, you don’t have to brine the meat at all, but the results here are so good, it really is worth a little advance planning.

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Photo/Art by Amy Traverso

For the Brine


  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs


In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and chili flakes. Add the chicken and let sit at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

For the Chicken


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Set a large skillet over medium heat and fill with enough oil to reach a 3/4-inch depth. You want the oil to be about 350° during frying.

Next, prepare the coating for the chicken: In a shallow pan (such as a cake pan), whisk together the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Dredge the chicken pieces through the flour mixture to coat.

When the oil reaches 350° on an instant-read thermometer, add the chicken, two or three pieces at a time and cook on one side until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken over and cook until browned on the other side, 1 or 2 more minutes.

Transfer cooked chicken to a sheet pan lined with paper towels or a brown paper bag. Cook remaining chicken as above. Serve immediately.
Updated Friday, June 27th, 2014

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One Response to Commonwealth Fried Chicken

  1. Joanne January 9, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    Do you rinse the chicken and dry it off before flouring and frying?

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