Friday, October 7, 2011

Freakin' Fried Chicken

Mom didn't do a lot of friend chicken when we were growing up.  Not that she couldn't. she just did it another way.  She did it in the oven with her own version of "Shake & Bake," and it usually came out moist, crunchy and tasty.

I've done it that way too, but once in a while I like to do it "old school."  So sue me, I like playing in mud, too!
"Old School" to me is on top of the stove using a deep walled pan, a mixture of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Grapeseed Oil (cuts the cost a little), using crunched up seasoned cereal and/or potato chips and/or potato flakes and/or crackers and/or if nothing else, bread crumbs for the crust.  Of course there's the standard beaten egg....sometimes I use buttermilk, sometimes milk, sometimes yogurt....I'm flexible.

Flexible...this time with yogurt
Oh!  I also soak the chicken in the milk, buttermilk or yogurt for about an hour before cooking....this step really insures the meat will stay moist!

Always rinse and pat the chicken dry, do this for any meats for that matter. Pierce and season the meat  on both sides with your preference of seasonings.  I use some garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, thyme and crushed celery leaves.  Some folk like salt and pepper, some don't. Your preference.

I mix the marinating liquid (yogurt in this case) with beaten egg and some more seasonings - crushed garlic, finely diced onion or dried crushed onion flakes, and even a dash of apple cider vinegar then dredge the chicken pieces in this mixture. 

Crumb mixture
After that it's time to roll each piece of chicken in the crumb mixture.  Be sure to coat it evenly and shake off any excess. 

This time I used a combination of ingredients for the crumb mixture -  1/4/ cup each of crushed Cheeze It crackers, crushed Crispy Rice and Jiffy Baking Mix.   This jumble should be seasoned, just like the other components.   A dash of pepper, poultry seasoning, sage, another smidgen of crushed dried onion flakes and perhaps a sprinkle of paprika would be a good thing.   Mix everything thoroughly before dredging the chicken.

Drying on the rack
While doing this dredging, heat the oil in a deep walled pan.  I don't have an oil or candy thermometer so test the oil temp the old fashioned way...with a small cube of bread.   When the oil is ready, add a piece of chicken.  Deep fry five to seven minutes per side, depending on thickness. Let drip on a rack for a few minutes.  If it still needs a bit more cooking time, put in an oven set to 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. 

Fried chicken is a very individual thing, and there are a million ways to do it.  This is just one.   Feel free to submit your fried chicken recipe!  Enjoy!

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