When my husband came home from work today, he asked me if I would write about how I fry chicken. Little did I know, he talks about my cooking all the time at work. He says it's because we are southern and the men know southern people can cook. Well, not everyone in the south can cook good. I've personally been on the receiving end of some of those southern cooks.
When it comes to fried chicken, I'm not like everyone else. I don't soak my chicken for hours on end in water or milk. In fact, the only thing I do different is, I pour Texas Pete hot sauce over the chicken after I prick it with a fork and let it sit for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
I use to love watching Paula Deen when she first started out on television. You know, the years when she was in the country kitchen in the yellow house; to me those are her best shows. It was during those seasons, when I learned about using the hot sauce on the chicken. The only thing different, she adds the hot sauce in with her wet ingredients before coating the chicken in the flour. HERE is Paula's recipe.
When I get ready to fry my chicken, most of the time I use my dutch oven. It has more room for the chicken to move around in while it is cooking. The dutch oven also is deep enough for the chicken to not just sit on the bottom and cook. If you've ever fried chicken in a frying pan and you lost some of the crust when you turned it over, it's because it sat on the bottom and stuck to the pan. Want proof? :)
Yep, those two pieces of chicken sat on the bottom and lost some of their crust. A sad day, I tell ya!
On Christmas Day, I fried the above chicken after we got back home from driving around and looking at the snow. I was a little short on time and I knew the dutch oven was going to be a deal to clean afterwards, so I just fried the chicken in a pan. I really should have use my cast iron pan, but I grabbed what I saw first and it was my stainless steel pan. Trust me, cast iron makes a difference in frying.
We like to taste the chicken not a lot of crusty, crunchy crust when we eat it. So I don't dip my chicken in an egg or milk mixture. I season it really well and I roll the pieces around in flour. I use self rising flour! If I don't have any self rising flour, then I add baking powder and baking soda to the flour just as if I was making biscuits. Before I even flour the chicken, the oil has to be ready for cooking. As soon as I flour a piece in the oil it goes.
One thing I make sure I do every time I fry chicken, is turn the heat down to medium. I honestly think chicken that is cooked at a lower heat for a longer time tastes better and it's juicier.
That picture is not the best! I'm embarrassed to even post it, but hot oil and a camera do not go hand in hand. We were amazed at the size of this package of chicken breast I bought. My husband posted a picture on Facebook after telling everyone about it.
The last thing I do with chicken is drain it. I place my colander in a bowl and line it with white paper towels, if I have them. If not, I use a tea towel that is used for draining. Many people talk about draining chicken on brown paper, but I've never tried it and have no plans on spending money on paper to drain chicken.
So, there you have it, my secret to frying chicken.