Day four of our southern-style, homemade from scratch, fried chicken dinner, and we’re up to the star of the show! The heavenly, lightly crusted, soaked in buttermilk and hot sauce, juicy ** tender ** lip smackin’, raid-the-fridge-at-midnight to snitch a cold piece, country fried chicken!! Perfect summer meal, a must-have at any picnic, and a heartwarming “Sunday Best”, noon-time dinner, all perfectly dressed in an incredibly tasty and beautiful breading! Now THIS is “finger lickin’ good” chicken!!
My fried chicken though, has been a work in progress ever since I met my hubby. I was happy with my old recipe, but he, and rightfully so, would brag and brag about how great his mom’s was, (a southern-born lady with the heart and soul of the deep south!) , so I knew I had to start over. From scratch. Tear up the old recipe and begin anew. And that I did. I gathered up my spices and herbs, yet again, opening each one and smelling them — seeing if it was a reminiscent aroma of the good OLD “KFC” stuff we got back in the 70’s when we were kids, and just gave it a go for a starting point. Though this may always be a lifetime, ever changing recipe, we were BOTH very happy with this “final” version! I was soooo relieved!!! He actually said that his mom would definitely have approved of mine, that “this was good chicken!”, and that wasn’t a compliment she just handed out! To anyone. EVER. It had to be VERY good for her to say anything at all. Although, he said, and again probably rightfully so, that she still would’ve said with a grin that it, “Still isn’t as good as mine!” I sure wish I could’ve met her!! I’d give anything to have been able to be in her kitchen, watch and learn, and just enjoy the miraculous accomplishment of turning something so plain and basic into something so envious that it becomes a guarded secret from the simplest of ingredients!
Unlike a lot of women did in the past though, I do like to share everything I make with anyone and everyone I can. We all should be able to enjoy every single thing we can, as we are only here on this planet for such a brief moment in time, and the more the merrier to enjoy life to it’s fullest is the motto I live by! To this day, we don’t know if her “secret recipe” was ever even jotted down, as so many people just cooked in old-fashioned no-measure-style, that it wasn’t even necessary to. If there is a copy floating around though, I for one sure would love a peek at it!
One last thing I have learned about frying chicken…DO NOT try and take photos while a hungry man is waiting!! Sorry the photos are awful, but now you can understand why! He could’ve received an Oscar nomination for his performance of “I’m starving here!!!! One more photo and I’m going to shrivel up and die!!!!” Ha! So it was a rush-jobbie. But that’s ok. 😉 Even the neighbors asked a few days later what I cooked because it drove them to the brink, too. No better compliments than that! 😉
These are the only two other shots I could sneak in while cooking…(BAD lighting, not actual color. Sorry!!) It’s close, though, just not as “orange-y” and lighter. The hubs was starting to hover and get anxious!! *Next time I make it, I’ll take my time and get some better shots for you! I’ll lock my husband in the shed if I have to! 😉
The chicken almost done with the lid off crisping up!! Oh yeah, baby!!!
….and cooling a bit! (*Photo also dark and orange-y), my bad, sorry.
NEXT time, I’m doubling the recipe!!! I do hope you give this recipe a try. I promise you it won’t disappoint, and you may just earn your own braggin’ rights as being the best fried chicken cook in the family!
Also goes great with mac ‘n cheeses, macaroni salads, and potato salads!!
* And be sure to check back tomorrow for the grand finale of this week’s homemade fried chicken dinner! The dessert is TO. DIE. FOR!!! A Root beer float cake with a root beer float mousse filling, and creamy “frosting”! My hubby, the mail lady and the neighbors FLIPPED! 😉 Have a fantastic day all, and see ya tomorrow!! 🙂
- 1 whole large fryer, cut up into 8 pieces ( 2 each: breasts, legs, thighs and wings)
- buttermilk, enough to cover (pick up a quart and you’ll have enough), *optional
- 1 Tbl. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, *optional
- Flour/breading mixture:
- 1 cup flour
- ½ tsp. dried parsley
- ½ tsp. ground rosemary
- ½ tsp. dried sage
- ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. seasoning salt, I use “Johnny’s”
- ¼ tsp. celery salt
- 1 Tbl. + 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne
- 2½ Tbl. garlic powder
- 1½ Tbl. onion powder
- ½ tsp. italian seasoning
- 1 Tbl. paprika
- 1 tsp. creole seasoning, (I use Slap Ya Mama)
- ⅛ tsp. dry mustard
- *Other items needed:
- 2 brown paper lunch sacks
- canola oil for frying ( 1 – 1½″ deep in pan)
- 1 Tbl. bacon grease (for extra flavor for the oil), optional
- *2 well-beaten eggs, optional, (for double-coating)
- Cut up chicken into pieces, 2 each of breasts, thighs, legs and wings, and place into large bowl. Cover with buttermilk. Add hot sauce and toss to distribute. Press pieces lightly into bowl to make sure it’s all completely covered. About ¾ of a quart is what it’ll take. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or best overnight.
- Open one brown paper lunch sack, place the other one inside and open it, too, to have a double-lined bag. Add flour and rest of ingredients. Twist top closed and give sack a good shake to mix.
- Drain chicken pieces and pat dry. Add one piece of chicken at a time to flour mixture, (adding largest pieces first down to smallest), shake really well to coat nicely, and place onto cooling rack placed over a baking sheet as you go along to “dry” a bit and “set”.
- While chicken is resting and setting, heat up oil with a Tbl. of leftover bacon grease in a deep frying pan filling up to about 1½″ deep. Heat until the end of a wooden spoon place into center of pan bubbles around the bottom and edges.
- Start with the breasts and add to pan carefully making sure it sizzles nicely in the hot oil placing the breasts “pretty side-down”. Add a thigh and don’t crowd pieces! Lightly brown all pretty sides, about 5 minutes, carefully turn with tongs, place on lid and turn down heat so that chicken is cooking nicely. Fry for 20 minutes. Remove lid carefully and quickly flipping over so that no accumulated water on the lid adds to the grease. Turn heat back up to medium, turn pieces back to pretty side down, fry another 5 minutes uncovered, turn to pretty side up and fry for 5 last minutes (uncovered). *This last frying with the lid off crisps the chicken coating. Carefully remove pieces to clean cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Fry the rest of the pieces the same way doing a second batch of the second thigh and the 2 legs. *The first batch will stay hot! (Or you can place into a warm oven after 15-20 minutes or so.) *I do my chicken in 3 batches due to the size of my pan, frying the wings last cutting the time down substantially. They only take about 15 minutes or so total.
- *For double-coated chicken, double the flour mixture, coat once in flour mixture shaking off excess, dip pieces into 2 well-beaten eggs, then coat a second time in the flour.
- **You can also re-coat chicken just before frying by simply shaking it in the flour a second time without dipping into egg. That also works to get a slightly thicker crust, in-between single and double-coated.