• 2 c.whole-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp.Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp.dill pickle juice
  • 2 sauce
  • 1 salt
  • 1(3- to 4-lb.) whole chicken, broken down into 8 pieces


  • 1/2 c.cornstarch
  • 1/3 c.all-purpose flour
  • 1 1 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 2large egg whites
  • 1/4


  • 1 1/2 c.all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c.cornstarch
  • 4 salt


  • Peanut oil, for frying (8 to 10 c.)



    1. Step 1In a large liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine buttermilk, Cajun seasoning, pickle juice, hot sauce, and salt; set aside 1/2 cup brine for the batter.
    2. Step 2Place chicken pieces in a gallon-size resealable bag. Pour remaining brine into bag. Carefully seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible, then toss chicken in brine.
    3. Step 3Lay bag flat in refrigerator and let marinate at least 4 hours or up to 24.

    1. Step 1In a large bowl or standard loaf pan, whisk cornstarch, flour, and Cajun seasoning.
    2. Step 2In a small bowl, whisk egg whites, vodka, and reserved 1/2 cup buttermilk brine. Add egg white mixture to dry ingredients and gently whisk to combine until a few lumps remain.

    Place 1 large paper lunch bag inside another (or use a large plastic container with a lid). In bag, whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt.


    1. Step Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
    2. Step Into a large Dutch oven or heavy pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, pour oil to a depth of about 3″. Heat over medium heat until thermometer registers 325°. Place a wire rack in a sheet tray next to stovetop.
    3. Step Working one piece at a time, dip chicken into batter, then place in paper bag and shake until coated. Carefully place chicken in oil. Repeat with 2 to 3 pieces, making sure not to overcrowd pot. The oil temperature will drop; adjust heat as necessary to maintain temperature between 290° to 300°. Fry, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165°. This will take about 10 minutes for white meat and about 13 minutes for dark meat. Transfer to prepared rack and let sit 15 minutes.
    4. Step Heat oil until thermometer registers 350°. Working in batches, return chicken to oil and continue to fry until crispy and crust is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
    5. Step Transfer chicken to wire rack. Let cool completely.

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