Pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Fried Chicken Recipe

Pitmaster Rodney Scott is a BBQ legend. For starters, he has been cooking whole-hog barbecue over wood coals since he was 11 years old. He’s also the founder of Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQauthor of Rodney Scott‘s World of BBQ and he was the subject of a full episode of the award-winning Netflix series, Chef’s Table.

With May being National Barbecue Month and July 6th being National Fried Chicken Day, who better to then to share the best fried chicken recipe (and insider tips for pulling it off like a pro) than Scott?

Who Is Rodney Scott?

After getting his start in whole-hog barbecue at at young age, Scott worked with his family in their bbq stop in Hemingway, SC until 2017 when he opened Rodney Scott’s BBQ in the North Central neighborhood of Charleston, SC. In that same year the restaurant was named one of the 50 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit and in 2018, Scott was awarded the James Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Chef Southeast. In 2019 Rodney Scott’s BBQ opened a second location in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham, AL and in the summer of 2021, a third location in Atlanta, GA bringing whole-hog, South Carolina-style barbecue, along with his famous “Rodney’s Sauce” to another part of the South.

Related: Pitmaster Rodney Scott’s Secret to Grilled Pork T-Bones

Rodney Scott’s best fried chicken tips:

  • Once you take the chicken out from the overnight brine in the fridge, go ahead and bread it and let it sit for about 30 minutes before frying. This will set the batter and the chicken will be at a better temperature for frying.
  • Make sure the oil is at the right temperature (350-365 F) and don’t overcrowd the pan or the temperature will drop too much.
  • Fry in batches and move the chicken to a cooling rack when done.

What do home cooks get wrong when it comes to making this Southern favorite?

Biggest mistakes I see are overcrowding the pan and frying the chicken at the wrong temperature. You want to let the chicken come to room temperature before frying it. If it’s too hot, the breading will burn, and if it’s too cool, the breading will get soggy. So you have to find that sweet spot.

Everyone seems to be “healthifying” fried chicken these days… any tips?

Eat it with a salad! 😉

Related: The Top 10 Asian Fried Chicken Recipes

What to serve with fried chicken:

Cole slaw, potato salad and hot sauce.

How do you keep it from getting cold at a BBQ or picnic in the summer and soggy?

Cold chicken is great! Fried chicken is great at any temperature, but you can throw some aluminum foil over it if you want to keep it warm. Chicken fried properly should not get soggy, that’s why “a bucket of chicken” works so well.

What’s the best way to reheat fried chicken?

To reheat fried chicken, place it on a sheet tray and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

What are the best BBQ places you’ve ever been to (other than your own)?

Sam Jones BBQ in North Carolina; Jim’n Nick’s BBQ; Peg Leg Porker in Nashville; Franklin BBQ in Austin.

What are your go-to BBQ gadgets?

I can’t live without my Thermapen digital meat thermometer. When smoking meat, temperature isn’t something you want to leave up to any guesswork, so it’s best to have a gadget on hand that gets it right with pinpoint accuracy. Also, I guess you can’t call this a ‘gadget,’ but I can’t live without a pair of high-quality stainless steel tongs.

What are your tips for summer BBQs at home?

  • Purchase a great sound system.
  • Serve ice-cold drinks. I like to keep it classic with beer and whiskey.
  • Get the best quality meats that your budget can afford.
  • And most importantly, have fun!

Fried Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rib Rub * recipe below *
  • 2 whole chickens (3 pounds each), each cut up into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola or other vegetable oil, for frying

Rib Rub Ingredients:

Makes 2 Cups

  • 1⁄2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 cup MSG
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup paprika
  • 1⁄4 cup chili powder
  • 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Mix all of the ingredients and place them in an airtight container.
  2. Cover and store in a cool dry place until ready to use.

How to Make Fried Chicken

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the rib rub and stir until fully dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large container or pot (like a canning pot) and add 8 more cups of water and 4 cups of ice. Refrigerate until the brine is well chilled, then add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least 6 and up to 8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. In a large bowl or brown paper bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the seasoned flour. Close the bag and shake it to thoroughly coat the chicken parts with the flour. Repeat until all of the chicken has been coated. (The chicken will still be wet from the brine. That’s okay. More coating will cling to the chicken and help to form an extra-crispy crust.)
  3. Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Pour enough oil into a large Dutch oven or cast-iron pan to fill it 3 inches and heat to between 350 ° F and 365 ° F on an instant-read Thermometer.
  4. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken to the oil, taking care to cook pieces of a similar size so they’ll be done at the same time. Cook the chicken until the side that is submerged in the oil is golden brown, about 8 minutes for smaller pieces and 10 minutes for the larger pieces. Using a slotted spoon or a frying spider, turn the pieces over and cook until golden brown or until the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 ° F, another 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the cooling rack on the sheet pan. Cook more batches, making sure to bring the oil back up to 350 ° F before adding the next batch.
  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

More Chicken Recipes to Try Next:

Rodney Scott’s Fried Chicken

Ingredients

Fried Chicken:

  • 1 cup Rib Rub * recipe below *
  • 2 whole chickens (3 lb each), each cut up into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola or other vegetable oil, for frying

Rib Rub:

  • 1⁄2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 cup MSG
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup chili powder
  • 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Key Tags

Directions

Fried Chicken:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the rib rub and stir until fully dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large container or pot (like a canning pot) and add 8 more cups of water and 4 cups of ice. Refrigerate until the brine is well chilled, then add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for at least 6 and up to 8 hours.

  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature. In a large bowl or brown paper bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the seasoned flour. Close the bag and shake it to thoroughly coat the chicken parts with the flour. Repeat until all of the chicken has been coated. (The chicken will still be wet from the brine. That’s okay. More coating will cling to the chicken and help to form an extra-crispy crust.)

  3. Set a cooling rack over a sheet pan. Pour enough oil into a large Dutch oven or cast-iron pan to fill it 3 inches and heat to between 350 ° F and 365 ° F on an instant-read Thermometer.

  4. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken to the oil, taking care to cook pieces of a similar size so they’ll be done at the same time. Cook the chicken until the side that is submerged in the oil is golden brown, about 8 minutes for smaller pieces and 10 minutes for the larger pieces. Using a slotted spoon or a frying spider, turn the pieces over and cook until golden brown or until the thickest part of the meat reaches 165 ° F, another 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the cooling rack on the sheet pan. Cook more batches, making sure to bring the oil back up to 350 ° F before adding the next batch.

  5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Rib Rub:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients and place them in an airtight container.

  2. Cover and store in a cool dry place until ready to use.

Kitchen Counter

Serves 4-6.

.

Leave a Comment