For the Deviling Brine:
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 large fresh bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
- A handful of fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Fresno chili pepper, chopped
- A generous handful of parsley
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons kosher or fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- About 1 1/2 quarts water
For the chicken:
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts, breast pieces cut in half
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic (a couple of scant palmfuls)
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion
- 2 tablespoons powdered mustard
- 2 tablespoons paprika or smoked sweet paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- About 1/4-1/3 cup vegetable oil
For the brine: Add the garlic, shallots, bay leaves, pepper, thyme, chili pepper and parsley to a food processor and process into a paste. Add the paste to a large sealable plastic bag and add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, sugar and water. Squish to combine. Drop the chicken into the bag and chill for 6 hours or overnight.
Drain the chicken from brining liquid. Coat the pieces in flour and cornmeal seasoned with dried garlic, onion, mustard and paprika.
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
In a large, cast iron skillet, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces until crispy on one side. Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes more, then transfer to a baking sheet and pop them in the oven to cook through, 12-15 minutes more. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
Alternate method: Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken pieces in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet topped with a cooling rack so that the heat can circulate around the chicken. Cook through, about 10-12 minutes, until extra-crispy and firm.