1 (3 lb) free-range fryer or broiler chicken
2 cups cold water
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
1 T black peppercorns
Cut backbone out of chicken, remove skin, and place in a baggie in your freezer for making stock.
Cut your chicken into 10 pieces (breasts cut in half).
The morning before you fry your chicken, pour the 2 cups cold water, salt, and sugar into a saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil, turn off heat and stir in the bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns.
Let cool then pour into a large bowl that will fit into your refrigerator or a clean cooler.
Pour in 4 more cups cold water and stir to combine.
Add 2 cups ice cubes and then add the cut up chicken.
Place in your refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours.
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t finely ground black pepper
2 t paprika
2 t dried thyme
1 t sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornflour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 ½ cups buttermilk
Peanut oil, for frying
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, pour off brine mixture and fill bowl with cold water to rinse chicken.
Remove chicken from water and place on a baking sheet fitted with a rack. Pat dry with paper towels and let sit on rack for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, mix dredge ingredients together in a bowl.
Pour buttermilk into another bowl.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, lightly dredge chicken in flour mixture, then place in buttermilk.
Dredge again in flour mixture, pressing chicken down to cover with a thick coating.
Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer or in a cast-iron Dutch oven to 375 degrees F.
If you don't have a thermometer, put the end of a wooden spoon in the hot oil.
If the oil bubbles around the spoon, it should be hot enough.
Fry thighs and drumsticks for a total of 15 minutes.
Fry breasts for 12 minutes.
Fry wings for 10 minutes.
Place cooked chicken on the clean cookie sheet fitted with a wire rack and keep warm in a 225 degree F oven while frying the rest of the chicken.