Every summer cookout needs chicken. The question is just what type: fried or grilled? Our editors couldn't settle this debate so we found our favorite of each.
We'll start with classic southern-style buttermilk fried chicken. There is no substitute and you can enjoy it both hot or cold!
Authentic Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Makes 4 servings and takes an hour.
- 1 cup salt
- 1/4 cup black pepper
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup hot red pepper sauce
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Fried Chicken
- To make the seasoning, mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
- In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the House Seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture.
- Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
- Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer than white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 minutes.
For those you, like half our editors, who prefer grilled chicken we've got you covered. Click the blue Next button below for the ultimate grilled chicken recipe!
Great grilled chicken is a staple of any American barbecue. Whether you eat it straight, put it in a salad or have it on a sandwich we've got you covered. Behold, our editors' favorite grilled chicken recipe!
Be sure to use their favorite Kansas City BBQ Sauce while on the grill.
Classic Barbecue Chicken
Makes about 4 servings and takes one to 3.5 hours.
- 2 quarts water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 chicken legs and thighs, still connected, bone in, skin on, about 10 ounces each
- For the brine, in a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme. Transfer the brine to a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you've only got 15 minutes, that's fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Once the sauce is done cooking, remove about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and reserve for serving along side the chicken at the table. The rest of the barbecue sauce will be used for basing the legs.
- Preheat grill to around 375 degrees F.
- Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels. Arrange the chicken pieces on the preheated grill and cook, turn once mid-way, and cook for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer the grill marked chicken to a cookie sheet and then place in the oven. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and then brush liberally, coating every inch of the legs with the barbecue sauce and then return to the oven for 25 to 30 more minutes, basting the chicken for a second time half way through remaining cooking time. Serve with extra sauce.