Blackberry farm’s sweet tea–brined fried chicken recipe

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  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

For the Brine
  • 1 quart very strong brewed tea (made with a brand such as Lipton)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, zested and quartered
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs and 8 chicken thighs
For the Dredge
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
For the Buttermilk Dip
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
How to Make It
    Brine the Chicken
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the tea, sugar, salt, and lemon quarters and zest. Simmer the mixture over medium-high heat until the salt and sugar dissolve, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add 1 quart ice water, allow the brine to cool, then add the chicken to the brine. Refrigerate for 48 hours, then drain the chicken and pat dry.
  2. Make the Dredge and Dip
  3. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with the masa harina, Old Bay, chili powder, salt, and pepper. In another large bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk. Place the remaining 2 cups flour in a third bowl.
  4. Dredge the Chicken
  5. Roll the chicken in the plain flour, then the buttermilk dip, and then the seasoned dredge. Arrange the legs and thighs in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Fry the Chicken
  7. Set a wire rack atop a rimmed baking sheet. Fill a large pot halfway with oil and heat to 300°F. Working in batches, add the chicken and cook until golden and the juices run clear, 22 to 24 minutes. Drain the chicken on the rack and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
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