July 03, 2015

Homemade Fried Chicken

My love for fried chicken is almost a joke in our family.  I am going to be honest here and share an embarrassing secret.  One afternoon I was grocery shopping with my daughter at Walmart and their fried chicken from the deli smelled SO incredible and I was SO hungry I just had to buy it.  I got as far as the parking lot and finished loading the grocery bags in the back of my truck before I couldn't take it anymore.  I stood right there in front of God and everyone, in a Walmart parking lot and ate a piece of fried chicken.  Ha ha.  My daughter was making fun of me... but oh it was so good!

As a newlywed, I tried to make fried chicken and it never really turned out.  Most of the time it was dark on the outside and raw on the inside.  I gave up for years and didn't even attempt.  In 1999 I bought a wonderful cookbook that is still a favorite to this day; Mama Dip's Kitchen and her recipe for fried chicken made me crave it all over again.  I realized my problem previously was the oil being too hot.  By following Mama Dip's advice of the oil sizzling hot but not TOO hot, I was able to correctly cook it - and knowing it should take about 25-30 minutes for your chicken to be done, let's you also gauge if your oil is too hot or too cold.  Just right, and your chicken will be done and ready to drain and eat after about 25 minutes.

An excellent tasting chicken only takes some flour, salt and pepper.  Using a self rising flour gives you a thicker crust (my favorite part!) and if you want to add a few dashes of spices, feel free, even though it will be just fine without them.

Fried Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut for frying (8 pieces or so)
1 1/2 c self rising flour
1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
*optional: cayenne, sage, accent, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
oil for frying

Soak the chicken pieces in salt water for 15 minutes. Drain. Mix the seasonings with the flour - you really only need salt, pepper and flour, but can add a few other spices too. Just don't get too heavy handed with them. 1/4 teaspoon is a good starting point for adding extra's and increasing from there.

Coat the chicken and let it set for about 15-30 minutes if you have time. This helps the coating stay on through frying. Heat about 1 1/2 cups oil or shortening in a pan over medium high. It's important the oil is not too hot! The trick is to have the oil be hot enough to sizzle a bit when the chicken is lowered into the pan, but not enough for the oil to splatter and jump all over the place. If it's too hot remove the pan from the heat, let it cool down a bit and then add your chicken. Cook half the time, turn, cook the other half. Turning again if necessary.

The chicken will take about 20-30 minutes to cook completely. It should be golden brown and done all the way through. Drain for a few minutes and serve.

Floured and ready to cook

Slow and steady wins the race

About 5-8 more minutes to go to a nice deep golden brown

Related products you might be interest in:

T-fal Jumbo Cooker Cookware, 4.2-Quart, Black
Mama Dip's Family Cookbook
Mama Dip's Kitchen


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