Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Southern Fried Chicken

1 tablespoon paprika
3 teaspoons salt (not sea salt)
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons celery salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 cups (375ml) buttermilk
8 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 kg chicken, cut into 10 pieces (or 1.5kg chicken pieces on the bone)
1 1/2 cups (185g) plain flour
corn oil, for deep-frying

1. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, chicken stock powder, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, celery salt, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, sage and white pepper.
2. Mix together the buttermilk, garlic and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the spice mix in a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add the chicken and stir around to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
3. In another shallow bowl, mix the flour with the remaining spice mix.
4. Wipe the excess buttermilk from the chicken and dip in the flour mix to coat thoroughly. Place the chicken on a wire rack, and when you have finished coating all the chicken pieces, place each back in the flour and press the flour on firmly so there is a thick crust. Return to the wire rack and refrigerate for 1 hour to set the coating.
5. Preheat the oven to moderate (180°C/350°F/Gas 4). Fill a heavy-based saucepan one-third full of corn oil and heat to 160°C (315°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 30-35 seconds. Cook the chicken in batches, without overcrowding the pan, for 8-10 minutes, until golden on all sides and cooked through. Remove with tongs and drain thoroughly on crumpled paper towels. Keep the chicken warm in the oven while frying the remaining pieces.

Serves 4.

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