Fried chicken is a summer time favorite and it is easy to make.
It's All in the Pan
When making fried chicken, I like to use my 12-inch cast iron pan. Cast iron holds heat better than other types of metal, so the oil will maintain its frying temperature better. This is important because when you add the chicken to the oil, the temperature of the oil will drop. Cast iron helps get that oil back up to temperature fast and that will help your chicken look and taste better.
If you fry a lot of chicken and are interested in deep-frying it, there are specially made cast iron pans called chicken fryers that are deeper than the usual cast iron fry pan. The sides on a standard fry pan are usually 2 inches deep, but a chicken fryer has sides that are 3-1/4 inch deep. That would give you a deep-frying effect. I like the standard pan because I prefer to pan fry my fried chicken.
Fried Chicken Recipe
There are those who like to soak their chicken overnight in buttermilk. I don't do this, but if you want to you can. The reason to soak chilcken is because the enzymes in buttermilk break down the chicken helping to make it tender. The buttermilk also adds to the flavor of the chicken. The reason I don't do this is because I usually forget to pick up the buttermilk when I'm at the store. If you are so inclined, you can take your chicken, wash it well, put it in a bowl, and cover it with buttermilk. Let it soak overnight or for at least 12 hours. If you want, you can skip this step and go right to cooking your chicken.
To make 6 servings of fried chicken you will need:
- 2 frying chickens, cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 6 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- A dash cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Wash and dry your chicken.
- If you have soaked it in buttermilk, let it drip off a bit.
- Mix the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper together and then separate into two bowls or plates.
- Mix the eggs and milk.
- Line up your ingredients on your counter in this order: Raw chicken, plate of flour, bowl of egg/milk mix, the other plate of flour, and a plate on which to place the coated chicken.
- Coat the chicken in the flour, then in the egg mixture, then again in flour, and finally place it on the plate to rest. The chicken should move in one direction only.
- Pour enough vegetable oil into the pan to come up about a quarter of an inch. A little more is ok but not less.
- Heat the oil over a medium flame to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer handy, you can take a little of the flour and moisten it with some egg. Drop the dough into the oil. If it sizzles and starts to fry, you're good to go.
- Place the chicken into the oil, making sure you give the pieces plenty of space.
- Cook skin side down first. Cook about 12 minutes per side. You're looking for an internal temperature of 180 degrees.
- Let the chicken cool and drain on a rack before serving.
A Recipe Worth Saving
.Every cook should master the art of making fried chicken, and this recipe will help you make a delicious dinner for family and friends. Keep it handy because once you try it, you'll want to make it again and again.