February 3, 2017

The Carbon Bar’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Recipe: Chef Hidde Zomer

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 80 minutes

Toronto restaurant the Carbon Bar is known for their perfectly crispy, mouthwatering fried chicken — and we’ve got their secret recipe.


  • 12 pieces of good quality boneless chicken thighs, skin left on

Chicken Brine

  • 2 L water
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ bunch thyme
  • 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon (cut in quarters)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. black pepper corns

Buttermilk Mixture For Fried Chicken

  • 1 L buttermilk
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 sprigs worth of thyme leaves picked from the stem

Flour Mixture For Breading Of Chicken

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp baking powder


Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Chicken Brine

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil and let it cool.
  2. Lay the chicken thighs in a pan or baking dish and submerge them with the cooled brine. Let this sit for six hours refrigerated. Remove the chicken thighs from the brine and place the thighs on a kitchen towel. Pat dry with a paper towel. Get rid of the brine.
  3. Let the chicken dry for a couple hours uncovered in the fridge. For best results this process should be done a day before.

Buttermilk Mixture For Fried Chicken

  1. Finely chop the thyme leaves. Combine all ingredients and let sit for an hour before using. This will help the spices and thyme infuse the buttermilk.

Flour Mixture For Breading Of Chicken

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk very thoroughly until all ingredients are well combined.

Breading Of The Chicken

  1. Pour the 3 litres of canola or vegetable oil into a sauce pot/fry pot with a thick bottom. Turn on the stove to medium heat and let the oil come up to 350ºF.

Prepare The Breading Stations

  1. Have a large bowl filled half way with the flour mixture, and another bowl filled half way with the buttermilk mixture.
  2. Take the 12 pieces of chicken thighs and roll them into the flour mixture. Shake of any excess flour and drench one piece at a time in the buttermilk mixture. Allow the excess buttermilk to drain by holding the thigh with two fingers and go back to the flour mixture.
  3. Carefully press the chicken thigh into the flour mixture and pinch the skin with two fingers and make twisting motions — this allows the skin to separate a little from the thigh and creates small flour clusters that will become very crispy when fried. Gently shake off the excess flour and set aside on a tray, making sure the breaded chicken is well spread out and not overlapping.
  4. Continue this process until all the chicken thighs are done.

Fry The Chicken

  1. Take the chicken to the fry pot and fry the chicken in small batches of 3-4 pieces until lightly golden brown — about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the hot oil and allow the excess oil to drain. Place the chicken on a baking tray.
  2. Bake the chicken in an oven on low heat 290ºF for 25 minutes. Before serving, fry them one more time for 1 minute and serve immediately. At the Carbon Bar we serve our chicken with our sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, and recommend pairing it with something similar at home.

Courtesy of The Carbon Bar