When it comes to comfort food, sometimes nothing beats fried chicken. There are few things more beautiful than a delicately seasoned piece of poultry, delicately seasoned and lightly dredged with a dusting of flour, baptized in a pool of sizzling fat to crisp, golden perfection.
Fried chicken isn't fancy food — eating with your fingers is all but necessary. Still, good fried chicken requires technique, time and dedication. This is not "fast food."
So what is the perfect technique? Do you deep- or pan-fry? Brine in buttermilk or massage the pieces in a flavorful rub? And what about the size of the bird, type of fat (lard, oil, bacon fat … ) and method for draining (paper towels, rack or paper grocery bags)?
No matter what you prefer, we've compiled nine of our favorite fried chicken recipes, including the classic pan-fried chicken recipe below. We even throw in recipes for Korean, Cuban and Vietnamese fried chicken — because fried chicken love is utterly democratic. As it should be.