Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Growing up we never had fried chicken. My mother baked her chicken instead. She did butterfly chicken once, but anytime we had chicken it was either baked, roasted or broiled. And that’s how I cook chicken now. Recently I was watching an episode of Nigella on the Food Network when I saw her make fried chicken and decide to try to make it myself. Nigella made it look so easy. I know its nutty to make fried chicken using a Brit's recipe instead of a southern one, but Nigella has a way of making me try recipes. And the recipe is southern influenced. I think I understand why my mother hardly served fried foods, there is a lot of fat needed and in it. The chicken turned out fine. The taste was not what I was used to but not bad at all. I think next time though I will use a Paula Deen recipe just for the variety of it, but I think I will stick to baked chicken for the most part.

Southern Style Deep-Fried Chicken
Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson

2 chicken drumsticks, skin on
2 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
3 to 4 cups milk
2 1/4 cups solid vegetable shortening, for frying
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg, beaten

In a medium pan, place chicken and cover with milk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. This helps tenderize the meat, but is optional
In a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, using tongs, transfer chicken into pot, then pour in the milk. Bring milk to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low allowing to simmer until the chicken is cooked through entirely, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the milk, and place on a rack to cool. Allow them to sit until warm about 15 minutes, and then pat dry using a kitchen towel.

Heat vegetable shortening in a Dutch oven over high heat just until it's nearly at the smoking point around 325 degrees F.

In a large zip-lock bag, add salt, flour, cayenne pepper, shake to combine.

In a medium bowl, beat 1 egg.

Place each piece of chicken, 1 at a time, in the bag and shake to coat the chicken. Then dip chicken into the egg to coat. Place the chicken back into the flour to coat for a second time. Repeat this method on remaining 3 pieces of chicken.
Gently drop each piece of chicken into hot oil, allowing the skin to crisp and turn golden brown in color, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately.


Jesser said...

My grandma hailed from the great state of TX and could make killer fried chicken (killer everything, really). Matt's step mom taught him how to fry up chicken though and it is soooo good. She uses lemon pepper in the breading and that just makes it so good. We try not to fry much either tho ... so bad for you!!

Yvett said...

I sometimes use buttermilk instead of milk. Also I mix lemon pepper or basil in the flour. For chicken strips, after they're done, I dip them in Frank's hot sauce. I don't cook a lot of things very well, but I pride myself in my fried chicken.
You're right about it being a lot of fat which sucks, but it tastes sooooo good.