Introduction: Fried Chicken
I learned how to make fried chicken from my ex. Hers is the best fried chicken I've ever tasted. Mine's not too shabby but I still need some practice to get it just right.
What You'll Need
-a chicken, cut up
-a large plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid
-large frying pan
-splatter screen for frying pan
This is very messy. By the end of it, you'll have oil and flour everywhere.
Some seasoned salts contain MSG.
This takes a long time to prepare. You're looking at an hour and a half to two hours.
Step 1: Prep
Start by putting 1/2" of oil on medium heat. It'll take a while to heat up, so you'll want to get it started first. Target oil temperature is about 375F.
Rinse the chicken pieces with cold water.
Combine 3 cups of flour with 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning in a large container with a tight-fitting lid.
Heat the oven to 200F. You'll need this to keep the fried pieces warm while you finish frying.
Cover the cookie sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Sprinkle some seasoned salt on that. You'll be putting the fried pieces on this, so keep this near the stove as well.
Step 2: Coat the Chicken
Put a couple pieces in the plastic container cover and shake. Remove the pieces, knocking off any excess flour. Arrange on a plate. Repeat this for all pieces. A whole chicken will require two plates. Put these plates within easy reach of the frying pan.
Step 3: Fry the Chicken
Put the pieces in the frying pan, grouping them by size. I tend to do three batches:
1. the two breasts
2. the back and two thighs
3. the wings and drumsticks
Start each piece frying skin-side down (assuming it has a skin side). Turn them over halfway through the frying time. The breasts should go for about 20 minutes; the smaller pieces, 15.
Here's where some finesse comes into play. When you remove the pieces from the oil, they won't be thoroughly cooked. They will continue to cook after being removed, especially if they're put in the oven. If you take them out too late, they'll be dry and tough by the time you eat. Too early and they'll be undercooked.
Step 4: Season
Arrange the pieces on the cookie sheet and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Put the cookie sheet in the oven.
You'll be repeating steps 3 and 4, so make sure you can quickly pull the sheet out of the oven, place the freshly fried pieces on the sheet, sprinkle with seasoned salt and put back in the oven.
You'll also be alternating between handling raw chicken and cooked chicken. Be careful with what touches what.
Step 5: Prepare the Rest of the Meal
The chicken will keep in the oven for quite a while. You can either prepare the rest of the meal ahead of time or make it after the chicken is done.
I typically serve it with black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes and a green vegetable of some kind.
Combine apple cider vinegar, finely chopped onion and ground black pepper. Spoon some of this over the black-eyed peas.