Take a large bowl and add in all of the chicken, I am using drumsticks, wings, and thighs. Add in the buttermilk until it covers the chicken, or you can use pickle juice. Use plastic wrap or a lid and cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours. The longer you let it soak the better. If you want some heat, add in some hot sauce to the buttermilk.
20 to 25 minutes before you are ready to fry up the chicken take a large pot, deep fryer, or skillet and add in your oil, 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Using medium to medium-high heat, heat the oil to 350 F. (176 C). The optimal temp for frying chicken is between 300 and 325 F. The reason why it higher is because the temp lowers significantly once we put the chicken in it.
Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder to a large bowl. If you want some heat add in some chili powder and cayenne pepper. Mix all the ingredients together. Next place the flour mixture into a large ziplock bag.
Grab a piece of chicken and let the excess buttermilk fall off, then place it in the bag of flour. You can add 3 or 4 pieces. Then close the top and shake the bag until the chicken pieces are completely covered. Place on a sheet pan and then bring over to the oil.
Gently dip the chicken in and let it fall away from you. Don't overcrowd the fryer. Only do 3 to 4 pieces at a time.For drumsticks, you will let them fry for 10 to 14 minutes, until nice and golden brown. Thighs take 14 to 18 minutes. Wings for 7 to 8 minutes.Keep an eye on the oil temp. If the temp goes below 300 F. (150 C) turn the heat back up. If the heat goes higher than 325F. (162 C) decrease the heat or add in a bit of oil. Try and maintain the heat between 300 F and 325 F if possible. The internal temp of the chicken should be 165 F. Use a meat thermometer to check if you like.
Place the chicken on a plate with parchment paper or a cookie rack to drain and cool.
I also like to double dredge the chicken for an extra crispy chicken. Take the chicken that has been dipped in the flour, then dip it in some egg wash (2 eggs plus 2 Tablespoons (30ml) of water). Then go back into the back of flour and shake. Then in the fryer, it goes. It produces an amazing outer crispy crust on the chicken.
Now enjoy the crispy fried chicken.