Over the past week or so, I have been nudged into frying chicken. My California cousin sent more recipes and he included a fried chicken recipe. I really thought he was very brave to send a cousin in the South a fried chicken recipe. As I read it, I realized it was very similar to the way I prepare fried chicken. Then to confirm that I needed to make some fried chicken, I was sitting in a training class at work and the leader said every woman in the South should know how to make fried chicken. I decided then and there that I would make fried chicken.
Have I made fried chicken before? Yes I have but several years ago I gave my electric frying pan away. It was a specialty frying pan and was very heavy and I just felt as if it was quite cumbersome. I have tried to fry several things including okra on the stove top and it just does not work. A few months ago, I purchased a new light weight electric frying pan. I love using it and the consistency of the heat is a great plus in frying food.
I browsed through my California cousin’s recipes and several other cookbooks by Southerners to decide how to fry my chicken. Here is what I came up with.
Fried Chicken with Milk Gravy
4 to 8 chicken thighs and breasts ( I used boneless breast and cut it half lengthwise)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 quart of buttermilk
1 cup shortening
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup water
First of all, I washed my chicken and placed it in a shallow bowl and covered it with buttermilk. I let it marinate in the refrigerator for about two hours. I drained it and I do believe I should have rinsed it off and patted it dry. My breading started to come off when I was frying it and I believe it is because the buttermilk was still on the chicken.
I mixed together all of the dry ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag. I placed the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, 3 pieces at a time. Reserve any unused flour mixture for gravy.
I put the shortening in the electric frying pan and set the temperature to 360. I used Crisco oil and I am thinking maybe I should have used the crisco solid shortening instead. I added the two tablespoons of butter to the oil and after it melted, I placed the chicken in the oil. I placed all of the chicken pieces in the oil skin side down. Then turned to brown on all sides. I added 1/2 cup of water to the oil and covered the pan and reduced the heat to 220 degrees. I cooked it for 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken was tender.
To crisp the crust, remove the cover and cook at 360 degrees for an additional 5 minutes or until desired crispness.
As you can see from the above picture, the breading did not crisp up as much as I wanted it to. Also, maybe I should have double breaded the chicken or used an egg wash. When I fry the chicken again, I will rinse and pat dry after marinating it in the buttermilk. I may also use an egg wash when breading the chicken. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
I will say this was the chicken was moist, juicy, and flavorful. On to the milk gravy and I will say, I have never tried to make milk gravy before. However, this seemed so easy and it turned out well. The milk gravy recipe is from Betty Feezor’s Carolina Recipes Volume II. The basic chicken recipe is from her cookbook to but I did make some variations in the spices and she did not marinate her chicken in buttermilk.
After chicken is fried, remove it and all but 1/4 cup of fat. ( I estimated that the bottom of my pan had a small amount of fat covering the surface). Set temperature to 210 degrees. Add the remaining flour from coating the chicken and brown it slightly, stirring constantly. Gradually add two cups of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stirring constantly. Cook at 210 degrees about 5 minutes, stirring to keep gravy smooth.
I was very pleased with my first attempt at milk gravy. It amazed me how similar the recipes for fried chicken were from Dorie Sanders, Mrs. Wilkes, and Betty Feezor. I will definitely try this again and I am sure I will make Mr. D very happy. It will make me very happy if the breading doesn’t slide off the chicken. I know I can do this.
Thanks for stopping by.