Let's make crustacular fried chicken in a cast iron skillet

On this episode of The Fried Chicken Show!, Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen in Chicago returns to The Takeout test kitchen and shows us his techniques of frying chicken. Reed tells us he likes his fried chicken crust darker than most, and he achieves this by frying in a cast iron skillet at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

A few notes: Reed uses a brine of molasses, bay leaf, garlic, and water, which he boils then chills, before adding the chicken to brine overnight. The chicken is then added to a second brine of buttermilk, minced garlic and shallots, and Creole seasoning. After a double flour dredge, he fries the chicken in a skillet of oil that doesn’t quite come to the top of the pieces. The reason he does this is the top of the chicken will leach out moisture, which is one indicator that the chicken is cooking through.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.



This is really cool: I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen to get a decent fry chicken recipe down, but I haven’t tried doing the double marination technique yet since I tend to mix elements from both of his marination steps (garlic, buttermilk, brown sugar, along with some sesame oil) into a single step. Will have to try his method out next time.

One thing I’d recommend: mix up the regular flour with some matzo meal. Different texture, more surface area, more crisp. And potato flour is also a good choice too, because it stays crispy longer.

P.S. That skillet looks dangerously close to overflowing—I still think a dutch oven is a safer bet.