Lard-Fried Chicken

Lard-Fried Chicken

BrianCamfam Cookery
Chicken pieces are seasoned with salt and plenty of black pepper, dunked in a light coating of flour, and then cooked in bubbling lard. The result is fried chicken that is crisp (not craggy) in texture on the outside, super- juicy on the inside, and uniquely savory. To make our own version with a light yet substantially crisp crust, we dipped the chicken pieces in flour, then water, and then back in flour. For fast frying, we cooked the chicken all in one batch. Keeping the lard between 300 and 325 degrees ensured that the coating on the chicken became golden brown all over without developing any off-flavors (which can happen when lard is heated to higher temperatures). Draining the fried chicken on paper towels wicked off any excess lard to make for juicy, not greasy, chicken.
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  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces 2 split breasts cut in half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs, trimmed
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pounds Cisco lard for frying


  • Sprinkle chicken all over with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and remaining 1 tablespoon salt in large bowl until combined. Place water in medium bowl.
  • Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess; dunk in water, letting excess drip off; then dredge again in flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer to large plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and line half of rack with triple layer of paper towels. Melt lard in large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees.
  • Add all chicken to lard, skin side down, in single layer (some slight overlap is OK) so pieces are mostly submerged. Fry for 10 minutes, rotating pot 180 degrees after 5 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 300 and 325 degrees.
  • Carefully flip chicken and continue to fry until golden brown and breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 5 to 9 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to paper towel–lined side of prepared rack and drain for about 10 seconds per side, then move to unlined side of rack. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve.

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