“How To Make Fried Chicken” – “Simply Southern Fried Chicken Recipe”
Simply Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Mississippi Comeback Sauce
Why We Need A Simple Fried Chicken Recipe
At Mississippi Comeback Sauce sometimes we go around the country visiting family, friends and restaurants, it has occurred to me that many of us cant fry a proper bird let alone, serve it with the right side dishes. we depend on places like KFC, Popeyes and yuk, Church’s to fill our need for the fried chicken fix we get every once in awhile.
While I won’t deny that there are some great places to eat Southern Fried Chicken, especially here in the South, and in Mississippi and Louisiana.
What comes to mind here for me when eating chicken out in a restaurant, I like places like, The Old Country Store in Lorman, Mississippi or Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans, Louisiana. You can even go to Gus’s Fried Chicken in Mason, Tennessee or Mrs. Whites Golden Rule Cafe in Phoenix, Arizona. These places offer a home like atmosphere to their environment that let you know they put their money in the quality and care of the food and not so much the ambiance that most restaurants use for deceptive purposes. When I want down home cooking, I want to feel I am down home.
Eating out has become somewhat of a ball and chain for me because so many times I know that I could do it much better at home and the service can’t be beat. All I need are some friends to enjoy the event with and my needs have been met. With food as the centerpiece we laugh, we tell jokes and lies, we even solve some of the world’s problems (at least in our minds) and feel good about it. These round table events have all but passed in the New South, except at restaurants. I want us to reinvigorate out style and culture of community that was not able to be displayed in earlier times. Food is the peacemaker.
The Perfect Recipe
What I am about to tell you is no secret to a true old school Southern cook. The art of frying chicken is relatively simple to the cook who loves to fry that perfect fried chicken. A bit of a crunch on the outside with some flavor that gets on your lips as you bite into the fried chicken, and a tender, moistness and juiciness that stays in your mind long after you’ve eaten your meal and left to go do what you have to do.
There are tools necessary if you want to fry the perfect chicken. You can get a big head and say stuff like,”my chicken is just fine without this or that” but it will not be perfect fried chicken if you do not have these tools. There might even be a surprise or two in what I am about to tell you, but just do these things the next time you fry chicken for the “home team” at least.
Tool #1 – Cast Iron Skillet. Not a stainless steel, not a counter top deep fryer, now a fancy copper bottom or enamel coated one. Get the American made Lodge 12″ Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet or a Lodge Logic Quart Pre -Seasoned which had a lid to go with it. You need a lid because you must cover the chicken during the first half of frying it. You can’t go wrong with Lodge. They’ll outlast my time for frying chicken on this earth and can be passed on to my children and their grandchildren. This cast iron skillet can be used to cook so many thing and it can be used outdoors as well. You don’t need nothing but warm water and a simple plastic scrubber to keep it clean. No dishwasher use or steel wool or harsh detergents. Just dry immediately and it’s done.
Tool #2 – Martha White’s All-Purpose Flour. All purpose flour is reliable. You don’t need to use any of that special kind of flour like corn, or Gazpacho or something like that. Keep it simple like we do. I know some of you can’t get this flour in some parts of the country locally but you can order it online if you want to. we swear by this flour in the South, not only for frying but for baking our biscuits also. If you got friend’s any where down South, get them to send you a couple of bags and just put them in the freezer. FYI Kroger owns a lot of other supermarkets across the USA and you should be able to request it from your grocer. Just like my folks in New Orleans require a certain brand of Red Beans to make their world famous and delicious red beans and rice, there is a certain brand of flour Southerners should use for perfect fried chicken and biscuits too.
Tool#3 – Crisco Shortening. Not not the bottle, the one that comes in the can and is creamed. We used to use lard and I do admit it gave the chicken a good crunch in it’s day but there was that smell of pork always clinging to the fried chicken and it just would,’t work today. Crisco shortening was a mainstay in southern kitchens and it replaced the leftover bacon grease eventually that we were known for keeping on our stoves. Now I’m not gonna lie, I like peanut oil and olive oil in most all of my cooking, but when it comes to frying chicken, I don’t want to use anything but Crisco shortening. If any of you remember, there was a commercial where someone fried chicken and put the leftover Crisco shortening back only to discover that only a tablespoon had been used. In other words, if you got the oil hot(350-365 degrees) when the chicken hits the frying pan, you won’t have to worry about soggy, greasy chicken.
Tool #4 Buttermilk. You can try to use all the marinades under the sun but it’s buttermilk that works best with Southern fried chicken. It not only marinates the chicken, it tenderizes, cleans it, flavors it and more. You don’t have to add any seasonings to it. They don’t make buttermilk like they used to. I have found the brand at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets works well for me. Whatever you do, don’t just grab the first buttermilk you see. Check the date and get the best. Just the buttermilk and chicken pieces for 8 hours. Yes I said 8. Which means you got to plan ahead. So the night before, cut up your and put it in the buttermilk and a non metal bowl, covered.n If you get up early enough before you go to work or have to do whatever you do, cut up the chicken then and drop it in the buttermilk. It will not hurt a thing if you leave it in the buttermilk for 24 hours (1 day).
That’s it. These are the main tools that you need to make fried chicken. Every thing else like spices, tongs, and the size of chicken you should use which is a 2-3 pound fryer is not much of my concern. I am going to give you this recipe and hope that you use these tools and see a difference. Most of the time when we fried chicken we didn’t have a set recipe as long as we had our tools.
The spices we used were usually, red cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Lawry’s seasoned salt, sea salt and crushed black pepper. I say, mix them together first then sprinkle them on the chicken pieces after you take them out of the buttermilk, then dip chicken in flour, then back in buttermilk, then back in flour. Back in flour means, put flour in a paper bag, twist the top and shake the chicken a few seconds making sure it is all coated. you can do it once if you’d like, it’s not a big deal. Just make sure before you put the chicken in the hot skillet that you bump the chicken so that the excess falls off. By the way, you should take the skin off before you put the chicken in the buttermilk….don’t be eyeballin’ me, you will not miss the skin one bit.
So here’s the recipe on this Perfect Fried Chicken:
1½ cups buttermilk
Salt and ground black pepper
Measure about a total of 1 1/2 tablespoons of the spices mentioned above to sprinkle on the cut up chicken pieces.
Chicken Stock for the Pan Gravy
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Back, neck, wing tips and giblet . cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small onion, quartered
2 cups all-purpose flour
Ground black pepper
3-4 cups vegetable shortening for frying
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Ground black pepper
1. Place chicken pieces in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag. Mix buttermilk with 1 tablespoon salt and
½ teaspoon pepper. Pour buttermilk mixture over chicken, seal, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours and
up to 24 hours.
2. Broth for Pan Gravy: Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken
back and other parts and onion; sauté until chicken loses its raw color, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to
low; cook until chicken releases all of its juices, about 20 minutes. Add 1 quart water and salt to taste;
bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, then simmer until broth is flavorful, about 20 minutes. Strain into a 1-
quart liquid measuring cup. (You will need 1½ cups for gravy; reserve remaining broth for another use.)
3. To Fry Chicken: Measure 2 cups flour, 1/2 of seasoning mix, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper into a large doubled brown paper bag; shake to combine. Lift half of chicken pieces from buttermilk, sprinkle with seasoning mix lightly, drop into flour mixture and shake thoroughly to coat completely with flour. Remove chicken from bag, shaking excess flour from each piece. Place pieces on a large wire rack set over a jelly roll pan until you are ready to fry. Coat remaining chicken pieces in the same manner.You can now throw away the buttermilk.
4. Meanwhile, spoon enough shortening to measure ½ inch deep in a 12-inch skillet; heat to 350°F. Drop chicken pieces, skin side down, into hot oil, cover (I use a cookie sheet) and cook for 5 minutes. Lift chicken pieces with tongs to make sure they are frying evenly; rearrange if some are browning faster than others. Cover again and continue cooking until pieces are evenly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Turn chicken over with tongs and cook, uncovered, until chicken is browned all over, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove chicken from skillet with tongs and place on wire rack set over jelly roll pan. Strain hot fat into a heat-safe container.
5. Pan Gravy: Pour browned bits from strainer and 3 tablespoons fat back into skillet. Whisk in 3 tablespoons flour and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until flour mixture turns golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in thyme, then 1½ cups broth. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over mashed potatoes with fried chicken.