How to make Thomas Keller Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This recipe is from a book, Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller (avail on Amazon). The thing is, the entire recipe for this fried chicken can also be seen on Amazon. So for this particular dish, you don't have to buy the book, but recommended to do so to cook other delicious meals.

Thomas Keller Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Іngrеdіеnts (Ѕеrvеs 4-6)

10 Pieces of Chicken
  • 2 legs
  • 2 thighs
  • 4 breast quarters
  • 2 wings
Chicken Brine
  • 5 lemons, halved
  • 24 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch (4 ounces) flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch (1 ounce) thyme
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1 head garlic, halved through the equator
  • 3/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
  • 2 gallons water
  • 6 сuрs аll-рurроsе flоur
  • 1/4 сuр gаrlіс роwdеr
  • 1/4 сuр оnіоn роwdеr
  • 1 tаblеsрооn рlus 1 tеаsрооn рарrіkа
  • 1 tаblеsрооn рlus 1 tеаsрооn сауеnnе
  • 1 tаblеsрооn рlus 1 tеаsрооn kоshеr sаlt
  • 1 tеаsрооn frеshlу grоund blасk рерреr
  • Grоund flеur dе sеl оr fіnе sеа sаlt
  • Rоsеmаrу аnd thуmе sрrіgs fоr gаrnіsh
Fоr Drеdgіng аnd Frуіng
  • Реаnut оr саnоlа оіl fоr dеер-frуіng
  • 1 quаrt buttеrmіlk
  • Κоshеr sаlt аnd frеshlу grоund blасk рерреr


Prepare at least two days ahead of time because you'll be marinating the chicken in the brine for 12 hours.

Make the Thomas Keller Chicken Brine

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and cool completely, then chill before using.

In a large container, marinate the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate. Marinate for 12 hours, no more.

Prepare the Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Style

When done marinating, prepare each chicken piece by washing it thoroughly and patting it dry with paper towel. Allow the chicken to drop to room temperature. Should take about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare the coating. You'll need 3 large mixing bowls. In one large mixing bowl, add all-purpose flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, kosher salt, black pepper and sea salt. Mix thoroughly. Then pour 1/2 of flour mix into a 2nd large bowl.

In a third large bowl, pour buttermilk seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

Cook the Fried Chicken Thomas Keller Style

Prepare a cooling station. A wire cooling rack over a baking sheet is enough, just so oil is contained properly or it will get messy.

Prepare a holding station by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper to later hold coated chicken.

In a deep-frying pot (6 inches minimum), pour 2 inches of oil and heat till 320 deg F. In this temperature, you'll be cooking dark meat first (legs and thighs).

Coat the chicken. Set up the bowls in this order: 1st flour, buttermilk, 2nd flour. Dip a thigh in the 1st flour bowl and completely cover it.

Then dip it in the buttermilk bowl. Let excess buttermilk run down back onto the bowl. Then dip chicken in the 2nd flour bowl completely covering it.

Place chicken aside onto the holding station. Repeat coating step for the second thigh.

Carefully drop the chicken in the deep fryer. You'll have to adjust the temperature back to 320 deg F to insure proper cooking.

After 2 minutes, flip the chicken. Then cook for 11-12 minutes.

In the meantime, coat the rest of the chicken pieces.

Remove fried thighs from the oil and place in cooling station skin-side up. Repeat cooking steps for the legs. Sprinkle sea salt as desired.

To cook white meats, turn up and maintain heat to 340 deg F. Repeat cooking steps until all chicken pieces are fried.

Serve and enjoy!

You can also go to here for cooking direction on Amazon. But Youtube has lately been my go-to when it comes to cooking instructions. This lady made a video on how to make Thomas Keller fried chicken. Enjoy the watch.