Fried Chicken

fried chicken

Imagine a hot piece of fried chicken that crackles when you taste a bite. The sound is as unforgettable as the taste of the rich chicken.
I grew up without fried chicken. My mother was Irish and my father was Italian. It was not in my mother’s repetoire of family meals.
So, when I married a southern gentleman, I started cooking foods that were traditional here in the south. There are a lot of cookbooks that are specific to southern food. I don’t know how or why but my fried chicken just was not what it was meant to be.
Tried as I may, it was soggy or too brown. I will cut to the chase here and tell you I think I found the recipe I have been searching for.
Self rising flour and cornstarch are responsible for my success.
Here is my recipe.

3 pounds chicken quarters, cut into thighs and legs
Batter:
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

For Frying
2 cups self rising flour for dredging
1 teaspoon kosher salt or seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups Crisco or lard

In a mixing bowl, combine the milk and vinegar. (This is my homemade version for buttermilk.) Add 2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce ans stir until pink in color. Using a large whisk, gradually add 1 1/2 cup self rising flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch. Whisk to a smooth consistency. Transfer the batter to a plastic container large enough to hold the chicken and batter. Add the chicken and seal the container. Refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.
Combine 2 cups of self rising flour with the kosher salt and black pepper.
When ready to fry, remove the chicken from the batter and place in the seasoned flour. Coat the chicken completely with the flour mixture. Place the chicken on a plate in a single layer until all the chicken is coated.
In a large cast iron skillet, add 2 cups Crisco or lard. Ther depth of the oil be 1 inch deep in the pan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. Ease the chicken into the oil and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This time will vary according to the pan used and the oil used. If the chicken is browning too quickly, the oil is too hot. The chicken can be wrapped in aluminum foil and finished in a 350 degree oven.

Please let me know how you succeeded with the fried chicken. If you have a recipe or suggestions, please share. We love to spread the word about good food.
Take care,
Margaret
The Outdoor Epicurean

Photo credit: The Food Network, www.foodnetwork.com

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