Crunchy Fried Chicken

There’s a lot of things that tend to be conventionally Southern.

Big hair.

from flickriver

Gun racks.

from discountramps

Mint juleps.

from lindaraxa

Baptists.

from wadeburleson

Crawdads.

from clydewoman

Elvis.

from eonline

Grits.

from foodnetwork

Seersucker.

from erdjamoo

Insanely big-ass pickup trucks.

from 128

I could go on.

I’m Southern.

Born here.

Raised here.

Lived here my whole life. But just like I don’t generally wear Confederate flag gear and truly detest sweet tea, I couldn’t make fried chicken.

Well actually, I’d never even tried.

See, I come from a long line of people who overcook chicken. Plus, I have El Guapo, God’s gift to chicken cooking. So why even bother?

from wiki

But lately I have had some nagging thoughts.

What if I can’t do it?

What if failure is unavoidable?

What if this is my impossible quest?

Even worse–what if the whole reason I’ve avoided frying chicken is because it will inevitably end up being like the shoe leather my grandma used to feed us under the guise of “safe meat”?

from kecweric

That’s when I decided: Forget mountain climbing or skydiving. THIS is my Mount Kilimanjaro.

from murdershewrites

Fried chicken.

So I researched. I read blogs. Websites. Recipes. Comments.

And I pulled everything together to make what I was sure was going to be the Best Fried Chicken Ever.

And bitches, it was.

from thewackytacky

To be safe, I chose to work with chicken strips versus a piece of chicken that had different thicknesses, such as a breast. Too tricky at this juncture.

First, I soaked the chicken in buttermilk for about 6 hours.

in the buttermilk

When dinner time rolled around, I made the crunchy stuff the crust is made of.

In a bowl, combine a sleeve of crushed saltines,

saltines, whole

improvised crusher

crushed

2 Tablespoons of AP flour,

with flour

and 2 Tablespoons of potato flakes.

and tater flakes

I used roasted garlic potato flakes because I’m a really adventurous girl.

I also added a teaspoon of dried cilantro, a heavy shake of seasoning salt, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

spices

Once that was all mixed up,

combined

I beat an egg in a bowl.

cracked

and beat

Then I dipped each strip in the egg,

dipping

then in the dry crust bowl, making sure to completely cover the strip.

in the dry crust

Then I dipped the strip back in the buttermilk, then into the dry crust bowl again.

You can never have too much crunch.

Once coated, I plopped the strip into the skillet of hot oil.

Now this is important, folks. You must use a cast iron skillet, you must use enough oil (come on–fried chicken isn’t ever going to be a health food), and you must make sure that the oil is really hot.

Also, make sure that the skillet isn’t overcrowded. Work in batches if you need to.

Let the chicken fry in the oil for about 6 minutes before attempting to flip. Be careful not to rub the crust off when you do flip.

frying

Continue to flip every couple of minutes until it’s thoroughly cooked through. I found that it took about 15 minutes per batch.

Remove from the heat, and set on a plate with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.

Serve hot . (Though it’s great cold the next day. Even for breakfast.) I made collards, peas, and cat’s head biscuits to go along with the fried chicken.

dinner

Hey, I figured if this was my Mount Kilimanjaro, I’d better to this right.

suck it, martha.

(ps: it got the El Guapo Seal of Approval)

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Categories: Food & Drink

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2 Comments on “Crunchy Fried Chicken”

  1. Wonder Woman
    July 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    I haven’t tried potato flakes. I wonder what difference it made in the taste? They certainly look crispy. I’m going to try this recipe on the next batch of chickens I get.

    • July 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      I think it made a good difference. This chicken was amazing. Please try it with your next chickens. Then invite me over. 🙂

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