fried chicken dinner

omg. did you know that this weekend is memorial day weekend??! i mean i feel like just yesterday was new year’s eve/day. i mean i’m all for this year speeding by but goodness. i feel like the older i get the faster the years seem to go by.

(ugh. i hate that i just made that statement. i feel like an 90 year old for having said that.)

but for real.

i mean we’re already through 5 months of the year. craaaazy.

i know that memorial day is usually all about grilling and cookouts but let’s be real. i live in a second floor condo. i don’t have a grill on my balcony and i’m sure as hell not hauling one down the stairs. so what do i do? well i can do a beer can or rotisserie chicken. those are both fine options but i could also make something classically southern… like FRIED CHICKEN! plus who doesn’t like fried chicken? um no one that’s who. if someone tells you that they don’t like fried chicken they’re lying. it’s like people who don’t like bacon. liars. everyone loves bacon. and fried chicken.

so here’s the fried chicken deal… fried chicken is like gumbo…. everyone has their own version and method. i’m sure there are northern dishes that yankees would say the same statement about. i mean there are people who swear by brining the chicken. others who double dip the chicken in flour before frying. more who coat the chicken straight out the paper with just a rinse off. some fry in peanut oil. others in shortening. needless to say, you could survey 100 on the street of any good southern city and you would probably get 100 different ways to fry a chicken. since this is my blog and my world, i’ll give you my version.

fried chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up in 8 pieces – that mean 2 breast pieces, legs, thigh and wings for those of you who are unsure
  • 1 qt buttermilk
  • 1/4 c your favorite hot sauce
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/3 c pancake mix – this has been passed down to me from my mom, her mom, her aunt, her grandma so just go with it… you can leave it out if you absolutely must
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1.5 tbs pepper
  • 3 tbs paul prodhomme’s poultry magic
  • 1.5 tbs garlic powder
  • 1.5 tbs onion powder
  • vegetable shortening – i used about 3 c
  1. mix together the buttermilk and hot sauce in a large bowl. put your chicken pieces in the bowl and refridgerate 24 hours.
  2. the next day, drain your chicken pieces while you mix together the coating.
  3. on a large plate or large bowl, mix together flour, pancake mix, and seasonings. make sure it’s thoroughly mixed together. dredge each chicken piece in the seasoned flour mixture making sure that it’s well coated; shake off excess flour mixture. place each piece on a rack to hang out while you heat up your oil.
  4. in a large dutch oven or electric skillet, preheat your shortening to 350F. i say i used 3 c of shortening but really you want to use enough to come half way up your chicken pieces. when your shortening is heated, place a couple chicken pieces in there so that it’s not crowded. fry the pieces for 5-8 minutes per side until it’s golden brown and delicious. remove to a rack to drain the excess oil off and cool a little.

that’s it. it’s a really simple process that can seem really daunting.

ok so here’s a full disclosure…. i have no idea what my actual measurements are for anything other than the chicken and buttermilk. i just kinda go with my gut on the hot sauce and seasoned flour. you can use any type of seasoning you really want to; which is part of why there are so many variations to fried chicken. and yes, you really do need to soak your chicken in the hot sauce / buttermilk for a good 24 hours. this helps tenderize and flavor the chicken. some people perfer to brine the chicken in a salt water mixture saying it keeps the chicken juicy but i like the flavor the buttermilk gives the chicken (and bonus it stayed juicy!). oh and i actually don’t have a perfered fat to fry in other than paula deen says shortening and i like the idea that there’s not hint of peanuttiness and my mom was making milk gravy to go with it. you can use peanut oil or vegetable oil or canola oil or shortening. whatever floats your boat.

so make yourself a batch of good ol’ fried chicken. serve it with some macaroni & cheese and corn on the cob or some fresh green beans. throw in some biscuits and milk gravy… mmm….

what could be better than that??


recipe adapted from: mom, maf (my maternal grandmother), john besh’s my family table, paula deen’s southern cooking bible


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