Preheat oven to 350° F
4 cups buttermilk
1 chicken cut up in 14 pieces – 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 tenderloins, 2 breastloins, 4 upper breast quarters
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup fine cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
½ teaspoon pepper flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup honey
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, then add the buttermilk.
Cover and chill for 4 hours.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, ground pepper and paprika in a large, shallow dish.
Fill a large heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet with 2 inches of oil and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fat thermometer reaches 375° F. degrees.
Drain marinade from chicken and discard marinade. Do not pat dry.
Fry pieces in the following order: thighs, legs, breast quarters, breast loins, wings and tenderloins.
Working in batches of 4 to 5 pieces at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
Immediately transfer to oil and fry, turning occasionally, until a light golden brown.
Cook’s Note: If you fry the chicken past the light golden brown stage, the coating will burn.
Transfer fried chicken to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet so it can drain.
Place baking sheet in a 350° F oven until the chicken is done.* Dark meat may take longer than white meat, as will larger pieces take longer than smaller pieces.
Once done, remove from oven.
If serving cold, let cool, cover and chill.
Drizzle with up to one cup of warm honey before serving.
Cook’s Note: The crust hold up well. Chill immediately if taking on a picnic. Keep chilled until served.