I love fried chicken but I especially like the drumsticks when they are crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. A buttermilk brine will give you that result every time! Sometimes I just fry up a big batch of chicken legs and then eat them hot or cold throughout the week. The price is right and the recipe is easy!
Deep Fried Buttermilk Brine Drumsticks
3 cups buttermilk (see note on how to make your own)
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 pounds chicken drumsticks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
A pinch of cayenne, optional (more if you like a kick)
3/4 cup buttermilk
For brine, in a Ziploc bag combine the 3 cups buttermilk, the coarse salt, and sugar. Add all chicken legs to the brine and seal the bag. Turn bag to coat chicken with brine mixture and lay on its side in a large bowl. Chill for 2 to 4 hours and then remove chicken from brine. Drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.
In a large bowl combine flour, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne if you are using it. Divide flour mixture evenly between two shallow dishes. Place the 3/4 cup buttermilk in another shallow dish. Dip chicken into flour mixture in the first shallow dish, turning to completely coat. Dip flour-coated chicken in the buttermilk, turning to coat. Coat again with flour mixture in the second shallow dish.
Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy cast iron Dutch oven or skillet, or a deep-fat fryer, heat 1-1/2 inches oil until hot and sizzling. Using tongs carefully add a few pieces of chicken to the oil. Fry chicken for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees drumsticks), and coating is golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep fried chicken warm in a 300 degree oven while frying remaining chicken pieces.
For a real treat, make Pecan Buttermilk-Brined Fried drumsticks by preparing recipe as above except, reduce the flour to 1-1/4 cups and add 3/4 cup ground pecans to the flour mixture. Oh Yum!
Note: You can make your own buttermilk...Measure out 1 cup of whole milk or cream. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Use this substitute as you would buttermilk in any recipe.