Monday, February 4, 2013

Extra Crispy Fried Chicken

Making fried chicken is an act of love for me.  It is Mark's favorite food so he gets extra excited for dinner when this is on the menu.  It is a labor of love because there are so many steps and because your kitchen will smell liked fried for a week.  But...if you make it just right, it is worth the effort.  I like to use legs and thighs only because I think they turn out the best, so why bother with anything else?  Also, I look for a package with small-ish legs and thighs.  Then I get to eat more pieces, but more importantly, I know that they will cook through on the inside before they burn on the outside.  This time, I fried mine up in Crisco shortening, which was magical.  You could use oil too, but shortening was an even bigger hit.  This would be a fun and comforting dinner on a cold Saturday or Sunday afternoon this winter.  While I don't advocate making this every night, I do think that all things are great in moderation and you can go ahead and treat yourself to this delicious meal every once in a while.
Extra Crispy Fried Chicken
8 pieces chicken (legs and thighs)
2 cups buttermilk
3 Tbs. hot sauce
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
2 eggs
For Frying - 1 cup Crisco shortening (or vegetable, canola, or peanut oil)

1.  Wash the chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel.
2.  Add buttermilk and hot sauce to a large bowl and soak the chicken for 1 hour (up to overnight).
3.  Set up your breading station by setting up two shallow dishes (I use pie plates).  One for your wet ingredients and one for dry. 
 - Put flour, 1 Tbs. salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in one dish.
 - Put two eggs, beaten well along with another Tbs. hot sauce in the other dish. 
4.  Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and shake off excess liquid.  Dip the chicken first in the flour, then in the egg, then back in the flour.  This will double coat them and make your chicken nice and crispy. 
5.  Set the coated chicken on a rack or tray for 5 minutes, so that the breading can really adhere to the chicken.
6.  When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat Crisco (or cooking oil) over medium high heat until nice and hot.  I do this in my dutch oven, but a cast iron skillet would also work.  I prefer the dutch oven because it has the high walls.  Safety first!
7.  Add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes per side (depending on the size of your pieces), until browned, crispy, and cooked through.
8.  Remove to a rack to cool enough so you can start chowing down.

One Year Ago: Chili Dusted Pork Chops

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