How to Fry Bone in Chicken

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Fried bone-in chicken should have the same appearance as boneless chicken -- golden-brown exterior and crisp, light skin.
Fried bone-in chicken should have the same appearance as boneless chicken -- golden-brown exterior and crisp, light skin. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Frying bone-in chicken uses the same procedure as boneless chicken, although it requires more cooking time. The benefits of using bone-in chicken when frying include deeper flavor, as the bone contains proteins not present in boneless chicken, and more uniform cooking, as certain boneless pieces, such as thighs, must be rolled and tied before preparing. The same seasoning choices, such as fresh thyme, buttermilk and tarragon, can be used interchangeably between boneless and bone-in chicken.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 whole fryer chicken, cut into two breasts, two thighs, two wings and two drumsticks
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig tarragon
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • Meat thermometer

Mix together 1 quart buttermilk, 1 chopped onion, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 sprig tarragon, 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper and 2 tsp. smoked paprika in a nonreactive container.

Place the chicken, cut into parts, in a nonreactive container and cover with the buttermilk marinade. Cover and place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

Marinate the chicken for a minimum of 12 hours.

Mix together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. kosher salt and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper. Spread the seasoned flour in an even layer on a plate.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain. Heat 2 cups of peanut oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (preferablely cast-iron) over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

Fry the chicken breasts and drumsticks, separately, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove them from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Allow 3 minutes for the oil to return to frying temperatures.

Fry the legs and thighs, separately, for 12 to 17 minutes or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow 3 minutes for the oil to return to temperature.

Fry the wings for 8 to 12 minutes or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the oil to return to temperature.

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