Fried chicken is one of my guilty pleasures. Yes, I know. It’s time consuming but it’s oh so worth it. To me good fried chicken starts with a good bird and is followed by three steps – seasoning, marinating and dredging.
Because of the time it takes, it isn’t something we generally have on a week night but on a weekend. Ready?
Step 1 – start with a frying chicken – not one of those big-breasted, roasting birds. Get a frying chicken. Better yet, look for an organic or natural chicken if you can. Yikes! You might have to cut up the chicken. Don’t worry. You CAN do it. Once you have the chicken cut into pieces, place in a bowl and season with 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp onion powder. Make sure the chicken is entirely covered with the seasoning. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Step 2 – about an hour before you’re ready to fry the chicken, combine 1/2 cup milk with 3 tbsp Frank’s hot sauce. Pour over the seasoned chicken.
You’re almost ready to fry. One more step – proper dredging. Also known as shaking up the chicken, in a brown paper bag, in seasoned flour – 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper.
You’re ready to fry. I like to fry at 350F. Use Canola oil and make sure you don’t have too much oil in your pan. I use a 11″ pan that has 2″ sides and fill slightly more than halfway with the oil. You can temp your chicken to see if it’s done but I find that a good 35-40 minutes (for the dark pieces) and 30-35 minutes for the light pieces at 350F works just fine
Depending on the size of your pan and how much chicken you’re frying, you can keep the chicken that’s done warm in the oven. Place a rack on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 250F oven.