Archive, Recipes

Southern Fried Chicken

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You guys are probably thinking that for someone who claims to be from the south, I haven’t put up many southern recipes. Well I figure that it’s about time I shared a traditional southern recipe with you. So today I m going to share one that is near and dear to my heart. I’m going to show you how I make southern fried chicken.

Fried chicken is one of those foods that I grew up eating a lot of sitting around the kitchen table with whole family. My Grandma Jonnie made the best fried chicken I have even eaten. It was juicy with a great crunchy coating  and the flavor was out of this world. I have fond memories of playing around in the kitchen while she got the flour mixed up and fried up a whole mess of chicken for the family on Sundays. It’s one of those memories that I will cherish forever.

Grandma set the bar high with her fried chicken and its a taste that I have never truly been able to recreate for myself and one that I have only ever come close to finding outside of her kitchen in all of my forty odd years. The closest I ever come to finding a replacement for her fried chicken was when I visited Paula Deans, The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, GA. When I bit into that chicken it instantly took me back to sitting in my grandmas kitchen taking a bite out of her fried chicken and having a big sip of her sweet tea. I tell you what, I almost got a tear in my eye, because it tasted so close.

Over the last couple of years I decided that since I will never properly be able to recreate her fried chicken I would set out to try and come up with a recipe that not only satisfied my urge for that old classic fried chicken but also had a bit of my own personality in it too. Well I am happy to tell you that I have finally come up with that perfect blend of spices and flour for that juicy chicken with that crunchy outer coating and am ready to pass it along to you.

So get out your frying pan and get ready to make some good old-fashioned fried chicken.

What you need before getting started: Sharp knife and cutting board, frying pan (cast iron if you have one), tongs or long-handled fork. 2 medium-sized mixing bowls.

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Grocery list:

3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts (or a pack of wing portions) I did both.

All purpose flour (2 cups) (for the breading)

Black Pepper (1 tablespoon) (for the breading)

Kosher salt (1 teaspoon) (for the breading)

Garlic powder (1 teaspoon) (for the breading)

Paprika (1 teaspoon) (for the breading)

1 egg (for the wash)

Buttermilk (1 cup) (for the wash)

Louisiana Hot Sauce (1 teaspoon) (for the wash)

Vegetable or peanut oil

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Prep the ingredients:

If using boneless skinless chicken breasts  cut eat breast lengthwise into three equal pieces and pat dry. If using wing portions just lay them out and pat them dry.

Making the breading:

Mix the flour and all spices together in a mixing bowl until it is all well blended together.

Making the wash:

Mix the buttermilk, hot sauce and egg together in another mixing bowl until it is all one consistent color.

Cooking the chicken:

Get your pan heated on medium to medium high with about an inch of vegetable oil in it. You can test to see if the oil is ready to start cooking by dropping a small pinch of the flour into it. If it immediately starts to bubble and cook then it is ready.

Now when I cook fried chicken I like to set up an assembly line on the counter next to the frying pan so that I’m not carrying stuff around the kitchen and making a mess, but you can do it however you like.

Once the oil is hot you will want to take a piece of the chicken and first dip in the flour mixture, making sure it is lightly dusted on all sides. Now dip it in the buttermilk and egg wash, getting it completely covered. Now back in the flour to get a nice thick coating on the outside. It is important to do it that order exactly so that everything sticks like it should.

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Carefully lay the chicken down in the oil making sure not to drop it in too fast and splash hot oil everywhere. Do the same thing for the rest of the chicken. Depending on the size of the pan you have you may need to do this in a couple of different batches (You don’t want to overcrowd the pan). Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 six minutes on each side (depending on thickness) until it is a nice golden brown all over and the juices run clear.

When they are done place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil and cool.

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That is how you make southern fried chicken. It’s not really that complicated and turns out with a nice crispy coating if you follow the steps I gave you. You don’t have to use boneless/skinless either. You can use whole bone in pieces like breasts and thighs if you like. I just happened to use what I had on hand. You will just want to cook any dark meat pieces such as thighs and legs a few minutes longer. Dark meat takes a little bit more to cook through than white meat. This chicken is great with sides like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese or even with collard greens for you true southerners like me. That reminds me, I’ll have to share my recipe for collard greens the next time I decide to make them. For now I hope you enjoy this taste of the south and be sure to come back next time for another great recipe.

Thanks for reading,

James

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