Double-fried chicken marinated in an aromatic brine is a specialty of the house at the restaurant Rye KC in Leawood, Kansas. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2013 Heartland issue with the story Mom and Populist.
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp. coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 15 whole cloves
- 6 sprigs parsley
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 (3 1/2 – 4-lb) chicken, quartered
- 4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp. granulated garlic
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. cayenne
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- Canola oil, for frying
- Baked beans and sautéed greens for serving (optional)
- Boil 1⁄4 cup salt and 1 tbsp. pepper with the honey, sugar, cloves, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, zest, and juice, plus 6 cups of water in a 4-qt. saucepan until salt is dissolved, 5–7 minutes. Remove brine from heat and let cool completely. Add chicken and cover; refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, drain chicken, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Whisk 2 cups flour, half each of the granulated garlic, cayenne, onion powder, and paprika with salt and pepper in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk remaining flour, granulated garlic, cayenne, onion powder, and paprika with baking powder, salt, pepper, and 2 cups water into a smooth batter.
- Pour enough oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to reach a depth of 2″. Heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 300°. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess, dip in batter, and dredge again in flour. Fry, flipping once, until golden and almost cooked through, 7–8 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 150°. Transfer chicken to paper towels.
- Increase oil to 350° and fry chicken until crisp, 2–3 minutes more; drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Serve with baked beans and sautéed green beans, if you like.