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Hopscotch Buttermilk Fried Chicken

In Oakland, California, Chef Kyle Itani is trying his hand at Southern food by offering a “Bucket ‘O’ Chicken” all day every day at his restaurant Hopscotch. Eight pieces of the buttermilk fried chicken are served in-house or to-go, but now you can make the dish that Bon Appetit recently called “the finest fried chicken” at home.


6 pieces organic chicken leg and thigh, bone in, skin on
1 oz. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Japanese Karashi Mustard (substitute spicy brown mustard)
4 oz. buttermilk
1/4 cup Katakuriko potato starch (substitute cornstarch)
3 oz. milk
1 thumb fresh ginger, grated
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups potato starch (substitute cornstarch)

Cut the backside of the chicken leg to expose the bone. Starting at the top of the bone, run your knife down along it, being careful to not cut through the skin on the other side. From this incision, slightly butterfly the meat open away from the bone. Spin the chicken leg 180 degrees, and do the same to the other side of the bone.

Mix the soy sauce and mustard together in a bowl. Add the buttermilk and potato starch and whisk to combine. Add the milk and ginger and whisk to combine. Submerge the chicken pieces in the marinade for at least 4 hours but overnight or over a couple nights is even better.

When you are ready to fry, bring a large pot filled halfway with oil to 350 degrees. Drain the chicken thighs in a colander. Dredge each piece in flour and potato starch, heavily coating the chicken thighs all over. Slowly ease the chicken into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry for about 8 minutes. Pull from the fryer and drain on a rack or a multitude of paper towels. Run a pairing knife along the bone to check that the chicken is fully cooked. If it is still pink inside, drop back into the fryer until it is done.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Kyle Itani of Hopscotch. 

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