Fried Chicken is a Special Occassion in our House
Deep fryers seem like that one hit wonder that you buy, have a great fry with and then let it collect dust thinking was that all really worth it. The answer is yes, it is all worth it because it is a such a sensory experience and really not much work at all other than getting your fingers a little goopy in batter.
I bought a fryer for my father when I thought he would enjoy the steaming hot french fries from the comfort of his open barn door in the cool autumn air. A novelty, but not novel enough for that fryer to ever see the light of day! Ultimately, I inherited that fryer and it sat, collecting dust for over five years until we said let's fry something and enjoy it.
I called my closest friend from the South and asked for her father's fried chicken recipe. Without a moment passing it was typed up and sent to me with all the necessary asterisks and tips for success. With sun in the forecast for the weekend we prepared ahead as the chicken needs 24 hours to sit in its buttermilk bath and another few hours to refrigerate with its batter coating. Yes, their are steps to frying, but anything truly enjoyable takes time!
The result was the warmth of late afternoon sun filtering down on our deck, the effortless sound of the crackling oil doing its thing and the smell of the "fry" wafting around. With all this came nostalgia- our friends used to host Friday night chicken & champagne parties so as an homage to our younger days we uncorked a bottle and served the chicken on a festive and well-set table. What is more fun than elevating a down-home comfort food like fried chicken with a the refined beauty of a peony emblazoned platter and a champagne flute. The playfulness of it all! Add watermelon, scratch mac & cheeseand a salad and dinner is served!
Fried Chicken Recipe
Ingredients for Coating the Chicken
Salt & pepper
Ingredients for Flouring the Chicken:
- Fill flouring ingredients in one or more plastic bags and shake to mix, or put in a bowl.
- Remove meat from buttermilk mixture one piece at time and drop in bag containing batter and shake until well coated.
- Dip and coat chicken a second time to get a heavy crust.
- Place chicken on a plate sprinkled with flour.
- Refrigerate at least 20 minutes. This helps batter stick to chicken during cooking. I usually refrigerate 1 hour, checking occasionally to sprinkle flour on wet spots.
- Chicken can be fried in 2 inches of oil in a dutch oven. Bring oil to a temp of 320-340 degrees and fry chicken for 2 minutes without moving, then 10-12 minutes, maintaining that temp, or until chicken reaches the internal temp of 165 degrees.
- Chicken can be baked at 350 degrees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Depending upon size, boneless meat will bake in approx. 50 minutes; bone-in will take up to an hour. Turn once at midway point. Again check the internal temp to make sure it is done.
- Let it sit for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour or more, it will retain its eat well and get juicier as it sits.