North Carolina Dipped Fried Chicken

Salt and pepper
¼ cup sugar
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, thighs, and/or wings), trimmed
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
1 ¼ cups Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
5 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Dissolve 1/2 cup salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
Whisk flour, cornstarch, granulated garlic, baking powder, 2 teaspoons pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water to flour mixture; using your fingers, rub flour mixture and water together until water is evenly incorporated and shaggy pieces of dough form.
Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet. Working with 1 piece at a time, remove chicken from brine, letting excess drip off; dredge chicken in flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Transfer to prepared rack. Refrigerate chicken, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Set second wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet and line half of rack with triple layer of paper towels. Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures 2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Add half of chicken to pot and fry until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs/wings register 175 degrees, 13 to 16 minutes. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees.
Transfer chicken to paper towel–lined side of prepared rack. Let chicken drain on each side for 30 seconds, then move to unlined side of rack. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken. Let chicken cool for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk all ingredients together in bowl. Microwave, covered, until hot, about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through microwaving.
Dip chicken in sauce, then transfer to shallow platter. Spoon any remaining sauce over top. Serve.

The chicken needs to brine for at least 1 hour before being coated in step 3.
Do not brine the chicken longer than 4 hours or it will be too salty.
Use a Dutch oven that holds 6 quarts or more.
You’ll need one 12-ounce bottle of Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce for this recipe.

Cooks Country