1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
3/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
3/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1. FOR THE BRINE: Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Add chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
2. FOR THE BATTER: Whisk 1 cup cornstarch, water, pepper, and salt together in bowl until smooth. Refrigerate batter while chicken is brining.
3. Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Sift remaining ½ cup cornstarch into medium bowl. Remove chicken from brine and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Working with 1 piece at a time, coat chicken thoroughly with cornstarch, shaking to remove excess; transfer to platter.
4. Add oil to large Dutch oven until it measures about 2 inches deep and heat over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Whisk batter to recombine. Transfer half of chicken to batter and turn to coat. Remove chicken from batter, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, and add chicken to hot oil. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350 degrees. Fry chicken, stirring to prevent pieces from sticking together, until slightly golden and just beginning to crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. (Chicken will not be cooked through at this point.) Transfer parcooked chicken to platter. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining raw chicken and batter. Let each batch of chicken rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Return oil to 350 degrees. Return first batch of chicken to oil and fry until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs/drumsticks register 175 degrees, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Return oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.
6. FOR THE HONEY GLAZE: Combine honey and hot sauce in large bowl and microwave until hot, about 1½ minutes. Add chicken pieces one at a time to honey mixture and turn to coat; return to wire rack, skin side up, to drain. Serve.