Chef-in-residence Bobby Flay and his daughter Sophie share a love for chicken thighs (“It’s the best part of the bird!” he says) and ranch dressing. After all, what better counterpart is there to hot, crunchy fried chicken than a pool of cool and creamy ranch?
Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Fried Chicken Thighs:Print
- 4 cups buttermilk, well-shaken
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 8 (5- to 6-ounce) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon chile de árbol powder or cayenne pepper
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1½ teaspoons sweet paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Neutral oil, such as avocado or canola, for deep-frying
- Ranch Dressing, for serving
- In a large bowl or large baking dish, combine 2 cups of the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, and the hot sauce. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight. Drain the chicken thighs in a colander, transfer to a baking sheet, and pat them very dry.
- Set up a dredging station: Place the remaining 2 cups buttermilk in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, chile de árbol powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Season generously with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Divide the mixture between two shallow bowls. Set the bowls up in this order: seasoned flour, buttermilk, seasoned flour. (Optionally, for an extra-craggy, crispy crust, drizzle a couple of spoonfuls of the buttermilk into the second bowl of seasoned flour, and use your fingers to create some flour clumps.)
- Set a wire rack in a sheet pan. Working in batches of 3 or 4, dredge the thighs in the first bowl of seasoned flour and shake off the excess, then dip in the buttermilk and allow the excess to drain off. Dredge in the second bowl of seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Put the chicken pieces on the wire rack to sit while the oil heats.
- Pour about 2 inches of neutral oil into a deep cast-iron skillet or large Dutch oven; the oil should not come more than halfway up the sides of the pot. Put the pot over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
- Set up a clean wire rack over a second sheet pan. Add 4 of the chicken thighs to the hot oil and fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until evenly golden brown and cooked through, about 10 minutes. While the chicken cooks, adjust the heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature between 300° and 325°F. Remove the thighs from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to the wire rack to drain. Bring the oil back to 375° and repeat with the remaining Chicken thighs.
- Serve hot with the ranch dressing on the side.
Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Homemade Ranch Dressing:Print
- ½ cup buttermilk, well-shaken
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped to a paste with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk to combine. Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.