Cast-iron skillets, stainless steel pans, Fry Daddies. There are so many ways that people implement to fry up a good batch of chicken. Some tend to work better than others, but they all have the same, delicious end product that’s, for absolute lack of a better term, finger-licking good. By why must one settle for just “good” when you could be great? You could be that absolute greatest when it comes to throwing down, Southern-style in the kitchen.
Now, there’s no division in which side of the Mason-Dixon line serves up the best fried chicken, but I assure you if any Yankee claims their recipe superior probably has a little southern blood in them.
- 1 1/3 cups of vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- 1/3 cup of reduced fat milk
- 1/2 cup water (trust me on this one)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2-3 pounds of chicken pieces, thawed, dried and separated
- Fresh pepper and kosher salt
1. Pour oil into a deep and wide, stainless-steel skillet. The oil should be about an inch or so deep. Heat oil over medium-high heat to about 375 degrees. Note: If you find yourself strapped for time or just without a cooking thermometer, flick a few drops of water into the pan before heating and once the water starts popping vigorously, the oil should be ready to go.
2. While the oil is heating, be careful that it doesn’t smoke over, take a medium-sized bowl and mix together the eggs, milk and water together. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dip them in the egg/milk wash. Transfer the meat over to the flour and dust liberally. To minimize mess, use a paper or plastic bag to toss and flour your chicken. Just make sure it’s clean before using.
3. Here’s the important part: Take the floured chicken and repeat the process, minus the salt and pepper, making sure that you have two layers of egg, milk and flour.
4. Slowly add chicken to the oil making sure you don’t crowd the pieces. Be careful, because the splash back can be most unkind. Make sure you turn the pieces regularly. It shouldn’t take more than 20-25 minutes to cook to a golden brown. Then place the chicken unto either a drying rack or paper towels will do.
This is the way my mother makes it (don’t tell her I told you), and I’m pretty sure this is the way my grandmother made it. By default, I consider it the best there is. I implore you submit your nuances on a time-tested recipe. What makes your version the “ultimate”?
Brian Wilder is a writer for Home Ec 101. You can also find him at Things My Grandfather Taught Me.
If you have a question you’d like Brian to answer send it to Brian@home-ec101.com.
Don’t forget to stop in and say hello on the brand new Home-Ec101 Forums.