The chicken thighs are cooked in two separate stages in this recipe, that was intended to be executed on a propane burner outdoors. The chicken is first fried to beautifully brown it, as well as render the fat from the skin. Next, it’s placed in a low oven to cook all the way through. The resulting chicken will be more tender, and the cooking process is a far more relaxed, and low-key affair.
- 8 pounds (roughly 21) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- About 1 quart buttermilk
- ¾ cup rubbed sage leaves (loosely packed)
- ¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 3 strips thick-cut bacon
- Place thighs in a large roasting pan (or other flat pan that will contain thighs in a single layer). Cover with buttermilk, tight cover pan in plastic wrap, then let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 24, but up to 24 hours – turn once or twice.
- Heat oven to 250 degrees. Combine the Old bay, sage, salt & pepper – mix well. Take the thighs out of the buttermilk, drain, then sprinkle the spice mix on both sides – rub slightly to make sure the mix has stuck. In a big paper bake, place the flour & baking powder, then shake to mix. Add about a third of the thighs into the bag, shake to coat, then remove from bag and repeat with the remaining 2 batches.
- In a 20 inch skillet, place your bacon and vegetable oil – set over a high flame. Keep your eyes on the thermometer as we’re ready to fry once the oil reaches roughly 370 degrees.
- When the oil is up to required temperature, take out the bacon, drain, and set aside to eat later. Shaking the excess flour off a thigh, add it to the oil, and expect intense bubbling. Take half the remaining thighs, shake off any excess flour, and add to the pan skin side down – the oil should be halfway up their sides. Cook for 7-9 minutes, until the side facing down is golden brown. Flip over and cook for another 5-7, until the second side is golden brown. Remove, and let drain on a paper towel.
- Wait for the oil to heat back to 370 degrees, and repeat with the remaining thighs. These should take 1-2 minutes less per side to brown.
- Place the browned thighs on a large sheet pan, or roasting pan, and cook in the oven until they’re cooked through – roughly 30 minutes until no traces of pink. Take out of oven and serve warm, or serve at room temperature (up to 2 hours to cool down).