Fried Chicken

If you ever want to measure your progress as a cook, think about something you made once, early in your progression, that was difficult.  Then think about how much easier it is now, after some practice and experience.  This is one of those dishes for me, fried chicken.  I used to think it was time consuming and a lot of work.  Over time it has become easy and a little time consuming but something I do sometimes when I get stuck for a dinner idea.

Fried Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken (whole, to be cut up, already cut up or a selections of pieces that are favorites in your house – in my house, its usually wings and tenders)
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs (2 or 3 usually do the trick)
  • Flour
  • Panko bread crumbs (optional but adds a little extra crunch)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Make sure the chicken pieces are thawed. Depending on how much time I have, I like to marinate mine in buttermilk. Just put the chicken in a storage bag, pour in some buttermilk, and toss it in the fridge. A few hours is good or you can do it overnight. I’ve heard conflicting opinions on whether or not this tenderizes the chicken but I like to do it anyway.
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Drain the buttermilk from the bag. Put the eggs in a flat bowl (a pie pan works well) and whisk slightly. See those two darker yolks? Those are from Fran’s chickens. Add a splash of water just to thin them a little. Then prepare the dry portion of the breading process. Mix the flour and panko bread crumbs together in another flat bowl (roughly ½ and ½) and add a tablespoon or two of seasoned salt and sprinkle in a little pepper. Mix well.
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If you don’t like to get your hands icky (that’s a technical term), this is not for you and its time to find a volunteer and I’ve not had much luck using tongs. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, otherwise all the seasoning will be in the breading. You want some on the chicken. Dip your chicken in the egg/water mixture and coat thoroughly.
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Trying to remember to keep one hand dry, something I have never been able to do, move the chicken to the flour/panko mixture and coat thoroughly. If there is time, it is a good idea to let the breaded chicken just rest, maybe on a cooling rack. It seems to set the coating a little.
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I have a small deep fryer that I use but the chicken can be pan-fried, as well. About 14 minutes in a deep fryer set to 375º or approximately 7 minutes per side if you pan fry. You can adjust these times depending on your individual taste, just make sure there is no pink visible when you cut into the chicken. You can do this in batches and keep it warm in the oven but do not cover the bowl. This will cause heat to accumulate and steam the nice crispy chicken into undesirable sogginess. Likewise, if there is any left over that is to be refrigerated, it is best to let the chicken come to room temperature before refrigerating. This preserves just a little of the crispiness. Either way, its good cold, too. Enjoy!
fried chicken

 

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