Fried foods are staples in Texas kitchens. We have fried green tomatoes, fried potatoes, fried mushrooms, fried okra, chicken fried steak and of course fried chicken!!!!
My dad is ones of those cooks that loves to fry food. It's just so easy!!! Sure you have to make sure your oil is the right temperature and that you cook the food long enough, but that's it.
Chicken legs and thighs are usually the cheapest to purchase at the grocery store. Or you can choose to purchase a whole chicken and cut it up. Anything to save a few bucks, right?!
So here is my recipe for southern fried chicken. I keep it pretty simple and stick to the basics.
Step 1: You must marinate your chicken overnight in buttermilk. This keeps it tender, helps infuse flavor and keeps it nice and juicy when you cook it.
Tip: If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can substitute it with 1 cup milk and 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar. Tells you how to do it here.
So I placed my chicken legs into a glass container and seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika, then poured the buttermilk over the top to cover. Cover the container and place in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours.
Step 2: Prepare your flour mixture. Here is where you can have a little fun with the seasonings. I always use what I have on hand. So I season the flour with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder Cayenne and a 21 seasoning mix from Trader Joes. If you don't have that you can keep it simple or add any other herbs you have in the cabinet or fresh from the garden such as Rosemary, oregano, basil, lemon pepper and even a little tiny bit of ground ginger. Yummy!! Make sure you season the flour well so that when you fry your chicken you will be able to taste the seasonings in the breading. You can test this by tasting your flour mixture. It's just flour and seasonings. Don't be scared.
Step 3: Prepare your frying pan. If you have a deep fryer, then set that bad boy to 350 degrees. If not, then use a deep wide pan. You can see the one I used above. Fill halfway with oil, or enough to cover 3/4 of the chicken. Place your fry or candy thermometer in the oil and heat to 350 degrees.
Step 4: Take the chicken out of the buttermilk mixture keeping it nice and wet and dip it into the flour mixture. You can double dip if you want extra batter, but I only do one dip. Then set aside and dip all pieces of chicken.
Step 5: Once your oil reaches 350 degrees begin placing your chicken in the oil. Do this carefully as you don't want to be splattered with the hot oil. Fry chicken about 10 minutes on each side or until golden brown and juices run clear. You can check doneness with a fork or a meat thermometer.
Note: White meat chicken will cook faster than dark meat by a few minutes.
Once chicken is done. Place on a plate covered with a paper towel or newspaper. Let cool and enjoy!!!
Don't worry. We didn't eat just fried chicken. I also made this AMAZING salad to go with it. I almost didn't want to eat the chicken because the salad was so good!!!
Hope you guys enjoyed the fried chicken tutorial!!
I'd like to hear about your favorite fried foods!