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Fried Boneless Chicken Thighs

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These fried boneless chicken thighs are just like the ones you’ll experience at Manhattan’s Egg Shop. Trust us. The famously crisp, juicy, chile- and brown sugar-brined bird is not something to be missed.

A fried boneless chicken thigh drizzle with honey on a white plate with a fork next to it.

These fried boneless chicken thighs are crunchy, juicy, salty, spicy fried chicken thigh perfection that’s then—yes, there’s more!—drizzled with honey and sprinkled with coarse sea salt to make it even more unexpectedly astounding.

Kindly note, this crispy fried chicken is not a last-minute, after-soccer, Tuesday night affair, though. To achieve such fried chicken stardom, boneless chicken thighs are first brined for juiciness and then marinated in buttermilk and spices before being fried to golden perfection. And it’s worth every moment. What you pull out of the fryer can only be described as ridiculously good.–Angie Zoobkoff

Fried Boneless Chicken Thighs FAQs

How can I tell when my oil is hot enough for frying?

The best way to measure oil temperature is with a deep-fry thermometer or instant read thermometer. If you don’t have one, drop a small spoonful of the chicken coating into the oil. If it begins to bubble and fry, your oil is ready.

Fried Boneless Chicken Thighs

A fried boneless chicken thigh drizzle with honey on a white plate with a fork next to it.

Egg Shop fried chicken fanatics, here’s how to make the famously crisp, juicy, chile- and brown sugar-brined bird at home.

Nick Korbee

Prep 1 hr 15 mins

Cook 45 mins

Total 1 d 2 hrs

Brine the chicken

  • At least 36 hours before you want to be eating fried chicken, in a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, kosher salt, sugar, garlic, and chile flakes and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the chicken to the brine, cover, and stash it in the fridge for as short or as long as you prefer, though we found the brine to work optimally between 20 and 24 hours. Note, however, that the longer you brine it, the saltier your fried chicken will be.

  • Drain the chicken, discarding the brine and patting the chicken dry.

Marinate the chicken

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, celery salt, cayenne, paprika, and egg. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover, and tuck it in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. (The longer you marinate it, the spicier your fried chicken will be.)

Fry the chicken

  • Place a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, carefully add the oil, and heat until it registers 350°F (180°C) on an instant-read deep-fry or candy thermometer.

  • Place a rimmed baking sheet alongside the stove and on it place a wire cooling rack, a brown paper grocery bag, or several thicknesses of paper towels. Preheat the oven to 200°F (90°C).

  • While the oil comes to temperature, in a shallow bowl, combine the flour and black pepper. When the oil is hot, remove one chicken thigh at a time from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off, and dip it in the flour mixture, turning to completely coat it. Shake off any excess flour. Then repeat, dipping each piece back in the marinade and then in the flour mixture again. Place the chicken on a plate when done.
  • Place a couple pieces of chicken in the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. The chicken should be fully covered by the hot oil. Fry the chicken, turning occasionally, until the chicken is golden brown and the thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the thigh registers 165°F (75°C), 5 to 10 minutes. Allow the oil to return to 350°F before cooking another batch of chicken. (If you don’t have a thermometer handy, use the tip of a sharp knife to cut into the thickest portion of a chicken thigh to check for doneness—there should be no trace of pink.)

  • Using tongs, transfer the fried chicken to the rack or brown paper or paper towels on the baking sheet. If not devouring the chicken straight out of the oil, transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven to keep warm.

Serve the chicken

  • Just before serving, drizzle the chicken with honey and, if desired, sprinkle with a pinch or so coarse sea salt.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 728kcal (36%)Carbohydrates: 56g (19%)Protein: 34g (68%)Fat: 41g (63%)Saturated Fat: 9g (56%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 19gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 167mg (56%)Sodium: 828mg (36%)Potassium: 574mg (16%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 536IU (11%)Vitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 179mg (18%)Iron: 4mg (22%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published March 30, 2017

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.



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