Note: Using a deep-fryer makes temperature management easy, but a large Dutch oven, outfitted with a thermometer, works just fine. Just be sure to keep the temperature at a steady 325°F.
- One whole large chicken cut into 8 pieces (about 4 to 5 pounds)
- 4 cups buttermilk
- 3 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, divided use
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 gallon peanut oil
- 13.5 ounce canister (about 3 cups) Wondra
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 lemon, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
- 2 jalapenos, sliced into 1/2” coins
- Kosher salt
Place chicken pieces, buttermilk, 1 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay, Tabasco and Worcestershire in a resealable bag. Seal tightly and shake to combine. Refrigerate at least eight hours and up to 12 hours.
Preheat oil to 325°F in a wok, deep-fryer, or Dutch oven. In a large bowl, combine Wondra, remaining 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, pepper and paprika.
When oil comes to temperature, remove one thigh at a time, using tongs. Shake off excess liquid from marinade and dredge in flour on all sides. Shake off extra flour and dredge again, gently dropping pieces into hot oil one at a time. As the oil returns to temperature, repeat the dredging process with drumsticks. Now, add drumsticks to the fryer, too, and cook all four pieces for eight minutes, until nearly cooked through. Remove thighs and drumsticks and drain on paper towels. Repeat process with breasts, cooking for 7 minutes, and wings, cooking for 6 minutes.
While the chicken rests, toss lemons and jalapenos in the remaining flour mixture. Add them to oil and quickly fry until golden and crisp (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
When oil reaches 325°F again, return all chicken to fryer. Fry until it becomes a perfect, golden brown, another 2 to 4 minutes.
Remove chicken from oil, drain on papers towels and allow to cool slightly. Serve family-style, topping with fried lemons, fried jalapenos and a sprinkle of salt.
Dutch oven with thermometer or deep fryer