Make-Ahead Fried Chicken


4 to 6 guests
  • 1-quart buttermilk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1-tablespoon honey 12 drumsticks, about 2 ½ to 3 pounds chicken

For the coating

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chile powder such a chipotle powder Corn, grape seed or vegetable oil for frying


Make the marinade. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients, except the chicken, and place in a large bowl or plastic bag. Submerge the chicken in the marinade, cover bowl or seal bag, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or better overnight. Make the coating. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cayenne, salt and Chile powder. You may use the bowl or a heavy-duty plastic zipper bag for shaking.


Take a piece of chicken out of the marinade and place it in the bowl, dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, or if you use the plastic zipper bag, close the bag and shake it so the chicken is fully coated. Remove the chicken and place on a sheet pan. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces, one by one. Reserve the coating mixture. In a large Dutch oven or heavy skillet with a lid, heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees. Just before frying, shake the chicken pieces in the coating mixture once again, one by one. Fry the chicken for 6 minutes, covered, then uncovered the pot and flip the chicken with tongs. Continue frying for about another 6 minutes, or until the coating is dark golden brown and the juices run clear when the meat is pricked with a fork. Place the chicken on a wire rack set over a paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Serve within 8 hours, but it is best to serve within 4 hours and leave the chicken at room temperature, rather than chilling it.