Country Fried Chicken

Adapted by
June 2017
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Does the world really need more fried chicken? Wait in line at L.A.'s Howlin’ Ray’s, sink your teeth into a thigh of Johnny Zone’s fried chicken, and tell us what you think. Zone is running a mighty little brigade-style kitchen full of baller cooks, who are cranking out 500 chicken sandwiches a day—not to mention wings, thighs, breasts, and sides. He’s also sourcing like a fine-dining chef, picking out birds whose flavor can stand up to the heat. Zone’s chicken is an experience—one for which Angelenos are willing to endure hour-plus waits. It’s food that’s been done before, but Zone is doing it better, and establishing the deep-fried foundation of a chicken empire.


Dry Rub:
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
One 3- to 4-pound chicken, quartered
To Assemble and Serve:
peanut oil
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Lousiana hot sauce
2 teaspoons salt


For the Dry Rub

In a bowl, combine spices. Toss chicken quarters in the spice blend, making sure they are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 24 hours.

To Assemble and Serve

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 325ºF. Set a wire rack in sheet tray. In a bowl, combine milk and hot sauce. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Next, dip the flour-coated chicken in the milk mixture. Return chicken to flour mixture and roll to coat evenly. Shake again. Working in batches, lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry until crisp. The breast quarters should take about 15 to 17 minutes to reach 160ºF at their thickest point; the leg quarters should take about 18 to 20 minutes to reach 165ºF. Drain chicken on rack. Allow to cool slightly; serve.