This moist and delicious Southern Fried Chicken will be the hit of any picnic or Sunday supper table. My grandmother (as previously discussed, I had a Maw Maw as any good Southern girl should – and she was an AMAZING cook – this woman could work magic!!!) used to spend hours in the kitchen, and I would be right at her heals. She had this massive aluminum frying pan, that I now own (she was so proud that it would hold an entire cut up chicken) and use to fry chicken for my tinies. She bought an entire set of these pots and pans from a traveling salesman early in her marriage to my grandfather (yes, he was my Paw Paw and I worshiped that man) and they are still providing evenly cooked, crispy chicken meals to our family all these years later.
Ingredients and Equipment:
1 pint buttermilk
1 whole chicken – cut up
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon each – salt, italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika
Now, I realize this recipe is a little intimidating to folks who don’t do a lot of frying (I rarely fry anything anymore) or have experience with frying chicken. But let me assure you, it really is relatively easy. I use about 32 ounces of vegetable oil to make sure chicken parts are covered as completely as possible. To add some flavor and moisture to the chicken, I soak it in buttermilk overnight. I like to put my chicken into gallon size freezer bags and then into a plastic grocery bag to keep any drips and drops from getting on my fridge shelves. The ones here, with the slider tops are my go to. Let them hang out in the fridge overnight and take them out when you are ready to coat in flour.
For my breading, I use a simple mix of all purpose flour (2 cups) and 1 tablespoon of each of my herbs and spices. Ain,t nobody got time for 11 herbs and spices but the Col. himself, so I use about 5 to season my breading. In another freezer bag, place 2 cups of flour. To that add your spice blend and mix well. Use a whisk and get in there to give it a good go round. I would probably not use a fork because of pokes and sticks to the bag.
Take your chicken pieces and place them – one at the time – into your breading mix and coat well. Put them directly over into your oil as you bread them. The buttermilk will keep the breading stuck onto your chicken. For a crispier chicken, you can make a wash of egg and milk, dip the coated chicken and send through the breeding mix again.
You want you oil to be sc-ream-ing hot. The oil will pop a bit, so do be careful and make sure no tinies are around. This would not be a good recipe to have them help you with from this point forward.
Fry the chicken until the internal temp is at 165 degrees and the juices run clear. Don’t take chances – use a reliable, digital meat thermometer to make sure your meat is cooked thoroughly. You can get a good one for about $20.00 online. You are going to flip your chicken about half way through to make sure it cooks evenly on both sides and is done all the way through to the bone. I like to fry mine about 5 minutes on each side until it is done. Usually it is about 25 minutes. The breasts will take just a bit longer, so put them in first and fry the legs and wings around them. Remove them to a paper towel lined dish or container to drain as you take them out of the fryer.
Man, that is some mighty fine chicken! I can just hear my Maw Maw moving around in the kitchen, and sometimes I talk to her when I am cooking her recipes. I never learned to cook using measurements, I just eye-ball it most of the time like she did. She had a 6th sense in the kitchen. I have a photo of her with a cup of hot coffee on the pantry wall in my kitchen so that she can watch me cook. Once she got to the point that she couldn’t do a lot of cooking anymore, she would pull up a stool to the island and sit at the end of it while I cooked. Of course she would walk me through every recipe. What I would give to have one more Sunday dinner with her in the co pilot seat! When I make the recipes that were staples of my childhood, staples of the Southern kitchen, it brings me a little closer to that time in my life when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was unconditionally loved by someone. Everyone needs to be somebody’s favorite at some point in their lives. I couldn’t have had a better Maw May. These recipes, the old Southern ones that I share with you all, are not just recipes for me, they are the way she showed me love. They are time spent with an amazing woman that taught me how to be a mother in my own right. These recipes are how love would taste and smell if it had a flavor. I can’t tell you how much I love passing them on to my niece and my own tinies. I love that they can have a bit of the taste of my childhood, and I hope they have the same foundation of love.
Enjoy this recipe and let me know how it worked for you!