I first made this recipe as an homage to Los Pollos Hermanos for a Breaking Bad finale viewing party, and then perfected it to serve with waffles to introduce my parents to the wonderful American dish of "chicken & waffles." Finishing the chicken in the oven on a rack results in less greasy chicken (since it spends less time in the fryer and some oil drips out while on the rack) with crisp skin on all sides. This is also a fantastic way to make fried chicken when feeding a crowd, because the chicken can be fried in batches in advance, and then finished all together in the oven. Cooked chicken can be reheated on a rack at 185ºC (365ºF) for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through, with little loss of juiciness. —eat chic
chicken legs, separated into thighs & drumsticks
Season the chicken on all sides with 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika.
Arrange in a baking dish with the bay leaves, sliced lemon, and thyme or tarragon, and cover with buttermilk.
Massage the chicken lightly to permeate with the seasoning, then cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and assemble your batter ingredients.
Mix together all of the flour and cornflour, and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a large shallow bowl or in a baking dish.
Dip the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, turning to coat completely and gently pressing the flour onto the chicken.
Shake off the excess flour over the bowl.
Fill a deep wide pan with 2.5cm (1 inch) of oil (about 1/2 to 3/4 of a liter, depending on the width of the pan) and turn the stove onto medium high heat.
Heat the oil until a small piece of bread sizzles and browns upon contact but the oil is not smoking (you want the oil hot enough to brown the chicken quickly).
Fry 3 or 4 pieces of chicken at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan so the oil does not cool down too much, for 2-3 minutes per side, until the outside is nicely browned.
Transfer browned chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat the process with the remaining chicken pieces.
Place the chicken on a rack over a foil-lined baking tray, then bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through.
Serve hot with chopped parsley or green onion to garnish, and hot sauce and/or blue cheese dip to accompany.