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Easy Whole Fried Chicken Recipe

Brine your chicken, then marinate it in buttermilk and coconut milk before frying it whole for an entirely new way to enjoy your bird.
Fried Chicken Marcus Samuelsson

Servings: 4
Prep time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 day


1 cup|155 grams coarse kosher salt
1 whole (3 ½ pound|1588 gram) chicken
4 cups|946 ml buttermilk
1 ½ cups|355 ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups|600 grams all-purpose flour
¼ cup|50 grams cornstarch
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
peanut oil, for frying


  1. Bring 8 cups|1893 ml of water and the salt to a simmer in a large saucepan over high, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour into a large container, add an additional 8 cups of water, and cool to room temperature. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours. Drain.
  2. Whisk the buttermilk, coconut milk, paprika, and garlic in a large pot or bowl. Submerge the chicken in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Heat 6-inches of peanut oil in a VERY large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 360°F.
  4. Coat the chicken while the oil heats. Put the flour, cornstarch, and pepper into a bowl and whisk to combine. Let any excess marinade drip off the chicken, then roll in the flour coating, packing it on. Place on a rack set over a baking sheet. If the coating looks damp, roll it in the flour again.
  5. Fry until the chicken is a rich brown and has an internal temperature of 165ºF, about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the heat and adjust to keep the oil between 350° and 375ºF. You may need to flip the bird (lol) halfway through. Drain on a rack set over a baking sheet and season with salt to serve.

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