Naturally, fried chicken is considered Southern cuisine. Folks young and old enjoy good fried chicken… especially home cooked. Don’t know about that, but everyone who has ever tried mine really loves it and wants to know how I get it so crispy. Hope my explanation of how I cook fried chicken helps you develop the skills of preparing a genuine Southern tradition.
Cook time: 20 Min Prep time: 30 Min Serves: 4 to 6
8 pieces chicken breast tenderloins, boneless, skinless
2 c buttermilk, or enough to cover chicken pieces
3 to 4 c unbleached plain or White Lily® unbleached self-rising flour
1 Tbsp (rounded) Rumford baking powder (if using plain flour)
app. 3-4 c cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt per cup flour used (if using plain flour)
salt and pepper to taste
2 c sweet milk (regular milk)
if you fry more than one batch of chicken increase your flour and oil accordingly.
1. I soak my chicken in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Overnight is okay.
2. Stir eggs into milk using a fork or wire whisk. Prepare 3 bowls or pans with flour in two of them and milk-egg mixture in a third pan. Have extra flour ready to add to bowls or pans as flour gets clumped up.
3. You’ll be double dipping your chicken. Since it gets kind of messy I put waxed paper under my pans.
4. As you remove chicken pieces from buttermilk do the following: 1. Put them into egg/milk mixture 2. Batter in flour 3 Dip again into egg/milk mixture 4. Batter them again in flour This will give you a wonderful, thick and crispy crust on your chicken.
5. Fry chicken in 2 to 3 inches of hot oil. Maintain a medium high temperature. You can’t fry chicken too hot, or it will burn… but if your temperature is too low your chicken will be soggy. Also, to have crispy fried chicken, never cover your pan with a lid.
6. Turn chicken pieces carefully while frying. I turn my chicken several times while it is cooking using tongs. I usually fry 7 or 8 pieces at the time and it takes about 20 minutes per batch. (When company is coming I’ll do at least 16 pieces of chicken in two batches.)
7. Fry chicken to a pretty sort of golden brown color. Always be very careful and safe when working with hot oil.
8. If you are frying more than one pan full of chicken, make sure you remove the crumbs from your grease with a slotted spoon or strainer between batches. If necessary add more oil to your second batch as needed.
9. Drain chicken on napkins or paper towels.