Chef Jeff's Friendly Fried Chicken

Chef Jeff's FRIENDLY FRIED CHICKEN(Serves 4 to 6)

3/4 cup ground black pepper
1/3 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
4 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
16 chicken wings
1/4 cup of buttermilk
5 cups canola oil

To make the spice mix, stir the pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne together. Divide it in half and add one-half to the flour. Mix well with a fork and set aside.

Rinse the chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels. Place the wings on a flat surface. Using a fork, pierce the chicken wings to allow the spice to penetrate.

Tuck the chicken wings at the joint and season them with the second half of the spice mix. Place them in a medium bowl and coat them with the buttermilk. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

When ready to fry, remove the chicken from refrigerator and dust it well with the seasoned flour. Hit two pieces together to shake the excess flour.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet to about 375 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, test the heat by dipping the end of one wing in the hot oil. If the oil starts boiling heavily, it's too hot. The oil should have a medium boil when the chicken is dropped in.

Gently drop the wings in the oil and fry. Turn two or three times, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a large plate lined with paper towels.

Noon Cooking -  July 19, 2010