My mom made the worlds best fried chicken. Or at least she did to me when I was a kid. I wonder sometimes if I would like as well the foods I enjoyed when I was a kid since my tastes are oh so sophisticated now *snorts and laughs*. But seriously, as our tastes mature and we try more, the things we loved as kids just don’t seem appealing anymore. In some cases, that’s a good thing. As much as I joke about Twinkies and Cheetos, I wouldn’t want a steady diet of them but when I was a kid, I could have happily eaten them for every meal. In other cases, maybe it’s not such a good thing. Like I said, I loved my mothers fried chicken. But now, as a middle aged mom, I make it my way and it’s what my family and I are used to. Would I like mothers now with it’s simple coating of flour, salt and pepper? I don’t know and that strikes me as kind of sad. She also made really good lasagna but I make that differently too. I remember once asking her, after I was married and made it myself, why hers always tasted like it had boiled eggs in it. She replied simply, “because it does.” I thought then and still wonder where she found a recipe for lasagna that used boiled eggs in the filling. And while I wouldn’t make it that way myself, I remember loving it when she made it. Maybe I didn’t know any better… maybe it was because it was a rare treat, maybe it was just because it was made by her.
This chicken is years in the making. For years, my coating was too heavy, too greasy, too hard. FINALLY though, I learned what I was doing wrong. Basically, I was trying too hard. I was trying to make fried chicken into something fancy when it’s not. It’s simple country food, homey and comforting. It’s fattening, it’s bad for you and it’s oh so good. Fried chicken can frighten so many people but if you don’t fall into the ‘trying to hard” trap, it’s easy as can be. Just watch your oil temp (buy an instant read thermometer if you don’t have one) and don’t overcoat. Contrary to what one would think, extra coating won’t make it crispier. It just makes the coating hard and tough.
You know the drill…
Country Fried Chicken
- 5 lbs chicken pieces (we like boneless skinless thighs and breasts and occasionally wings if I can find them on sale)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons Janes Krazy Mized Up Salt (can be found in most grocery stores. I prefer this one because it uses larger salt pieces thus isn’t as “salty” tasting as other seasoned salts)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 to 5 tablespoons of franks Hot Sauce (optional and amount will vary depending on what level of heat you like)
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup butter flavor Crisco (optional, but it gives a nice flavor)
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, herbs, spices and salt. Stir well.
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and hot sauce. Beat until well combined.
- In a large pan or dutch oven (I use my 8 quart dutch oven and it works great. You can get a deep level of oil but with no worry of bubbling over and less splattering.), pour vegetable oil to a level of about 2 inches. Add in the Crisco if using (or another cup of oil) and over medium heat, heat oil to 340 degrees.
- While oil heats, take each piece of chicken and coat in this order- dredge first in the flour, then in the egg mixture, carefully shaking off excess liquid, then dredge again in the flour. Set each piece on a rack that is set over a piece of waxed paper for easier cleanup.
- When oil is hot, put chicken into pan carefully, starting with dark meat pieces like thighs and drumsticks. Turn the heat up to medium high for about 2 minutes, just long enough to bring the oil back up to temp, because adding the chicken can lower the temp drastically, causing the chicken to soak up too much oil. Don’t crowd your pan. Let the dark meat pieces cook for about 5 minutes, then if you have room in the pan, add a piece or two of the white meat.
- Cook the chicken, turning two or three times during cooking, until it is golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into a piece of chicken (NOT touching a bone if it’s not boneless chicken) reads at a temp of approximately 180 degrees. Remember that white meat cooks quicker than dark and that just because a thinner piece is done, that doesn’t mean a thick piece like a large breast will be. Make sure you check thicker pieces inner temps too.
- Drain on a paper towel covered plate and serve piping hot…or warm…or room temp…or cold. I mean, really… it’s fried chicken!!
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Oh man….that looks just like classic, perfect, clog your arteries delicious comfort food!
Thanks Kayle! Isn’t fried chicken awesome!? *drools*
Fried chicken is my favorite food! Can’t eat it as much as I used to, but still the bomb! I’m trying this recipe this weekend!
Dang woman! Can I come over and have some fried chicken for dinner???? I don’t make it, and that is only because I am convinced I will make a mess out of it and my kitchen. So, can I come over for dinner, or do I have to suck it up and be brave, and finally just fry it up?????
You soooo need to make it, Kris. You have no excuse now with a fairly easy recipe right here form someone you (hopefully) trust. Git to cookin’!
There is no wrong way to fry chicken. And your way looks fabulous! I especially like the addition of the Crisco. My father fried his chicken in Crisco way back when, then eventually switched over to oil. I use oil, but I add bacon fat. Anyway, kudos to you and your fried chicken! Awesome!
Amen, Adam. By the same token, I have always said that if one were to fry a shoe sole and salt it, it would probably taste great. There is just something about the whole frying thing that makes anything yummy!
I didn’t grow up with fried chicken but I learned to love it as an adult. Yummy!!
Oh man! I’m DROOLING over here – that chicken looks delicious! 🙂
Looks like a really great recipe…..I have been frying chicken for probably 20+ years now….I discovered greek seasoning and creole seasoning and of course I use garlic in everything….I used to just use salt and pepper and maybe some other spice but I always always use Crisco unless I only have oil….lets face it, when you fry anything you may as well expect it to be fattening so why skimp and everyone knows that Crisco is the greatest invention since they invented mayonnaise or maybe even the lightbulb……lol…..sometimes I try to do the egg and buttermilk and that tastes great too but most times I just put them in the flour and fry it up that way….all in all fried chicken needs to be fried and not baked in the oven if I had my way….thanks for another great recipe…..
My Gram would make the best fried chicken! She used crisco and crushed milk crackers, oh it was so good <3
I’ve tried hundreds of fried chicken recipes (each claiming to be the best ever) over the past 20 years. This is absolutely, without doubt, the BEST fried chicken recipe ever. Case closed, throwing out all my other recipes. One other comment: most awesome fried chicken recipe in the world.
Thank you!!! That makes me happy to know you enjoyed it! 🙂