Pork Rind-Crusted Fried Chicken

Dropping fresh herbs in the hot oil not only makes for a pretty presentation, it also adds a delicious layer of flavor.

Pork Rind-Crusted Fried Chicken
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
  • 2½ cups whole buttermilk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 pounds chicken thighs and chicken drumsticks
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely ground pork rinds (some small pieces should remain)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Fresh basil sprigs and leaves
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1½ cups buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, garlic, and poultry seasoning. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Add buttermilk mixture; seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  3. Fill a large cast-iron Dutch oven halfway with oil, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325°.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, pork rinds, cornstarch, and remaining 2 tablespoons salt. Place remaining 1 cup buttermilk in another large bowl.
  5. Remove chicken from brine, letting excess drip off; discard brine. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Dredge in flour mixture again, shaking off excess.
  6. Drop basil sprigs and leaves into hot oil. (Make sure basil is free of any water or condensation). Fry, stirring occasionally, until translucent and crisp, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove basil using a spider strainer, and let drain on paper towels.
  7. Working in batches, fry chicken until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°, 8 to 12 minutes. Let drain on paper towels. Serve chicken immediately topped with basil.
KITCHEN TIP: Letting the chicken stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before cooking helps the meat cook more evenly.