Root beer fried chicken

Some know it as “change-your-life” chicken or “the-reason-why-I-havent-bounced-back-from-extra-holiday-poundage” chicken 🙂

Brine:
2 cans root beer
1 tablespoon salt
1 tsp thyme
4 cloves garlic chopped
4 teaspoons mild hot sauce
12 chicken legs
Batter:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons black pepper
4 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
6 cloves garlic, chopped (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE GARLIC POWDER OR I CANNOT VOUCH FOR THIS RECIPE!)
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1. In a large bowl, combine brine ingredients. Cover & set in fridge for ~4 hours.
2. In another bowl, combine batter ingredients.
3. Bust out a pot (wide enough to cook at least 3 legs at a time without crowding) and candy thermometer–you want to maintain a temp of 350. Heat about 1 1/2 in of oil.
4. Prep chicken (you can prep as you go). Remove chicken from brine and pat dry. Cover in flour mixture, then shake excess off. Then do another coat: dunk in brine quickly, flour, shake.
5. Working in batches of 2 or 3 at a time, carefully lower thighs into the hot oil. The oil temperature will plummet when the cold chicken goes into the pan; turn up the heat and carefully monitor the temperature. Cook for a little more than 3 minutes on one side, a little more than 3 minutes on the other, and then a final 3 minutes on the first side. Remove to a wire rack or paper towel to drain.
6. The juices should run clear when the chicken is poked with a knife. If necessary, transfer the browned chicken to a baking sheet and bake until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees on a instant-read thermometer.
Optional: Serve w/ sriracha mayo (literally just mix the two to your level of spiciness) but it’s spectacular by itself so you might end up wasting the mayo.
Somewhat adapted from this but better:

 

 

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