Monday, March 8, 2010

Yankee Southern Fried Chicken

I am a Yankee! Born raised in the northeast, I can't stand the taste of sweet tea or collard greens but I make some of the best fried chicken out there. I don't have some secret blend of spices and herbs like the colonel, but it's just as flavorful, moist and delicious. The whole chicken is cut into pieces and then soaked in salt water overnight. I don't buy already cut up pieces because I feel they can sometimes be dry, and it only takes a few minutes to cut them up yourself at home or have the butcher do it for you in the store. I soak them in salt water for two reasons. One the salt gives some flavor to chicken itself, and two the salted water helps to penetrate the chicken and keep it moist during the frying process. Making fried chicken is a messy job. You have to dip the chicken into buttermilk and flour and well the goop ends up covering your hands. There is no way to avoid it if you want to make some great fried chicken!

What You Need:

1 (3-4) fryer chicken, cut into pieces
2 quarts of cold water
2 tbs salt
3 cups flour
2 tbs garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne powder
salt and pepper
1 quart of buttermilk
2 tbs hot sauce
peanut oil for frying

What To Do:

If you haven't already done so, cut your chicken into fryer pieces. You can remove the breast from the bones if you like. My hubby isn't a fan of chicken on the bone so I do this for him. Place the chicken in a large container with a lid. Cover with the 2 quarts of water that has the 2 tbs of salt mixed into it. If the chicken isn't completely covered, add more salt water, using 1 tbs of salt per quart of water. Let this sit overnight in the fridge.

About 45 minutes before you want to eat, start coating the chicken. In a large container (I like using pie plates) mix the quart of buttermilk together with the 2 tbs of hot sauce. In another large container mix together the flour, garlic and cayenne powders, a pinch of salt (not to much since the chicken was soaked in salt water) and a few grinds of black pepper.

Drain the chicken from the liquid. Take one or two pieces at a time and cover them with flour. Then dip them into the buttermilk and then back into the flour, making sure to coat it well. Place the coated chicken onto a cookie sheet and continue covering the rest of the chicken. Once the chicken is all coated, then start heating your oil. You want about 3 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed, deep pot. I use my dutch oven for this. I like to wait to heat my oil because it gives the chicken some time to rest and the coating to really stick and create all those nooks and crannies that make fried chicken what it is. Heat the oil to about 360-370 degrees.

You want to fry the chicken at 350 degrees, but you start with a higher temp because once you start adding the chicken the temp of the oil will drop a bit. Fry the pieces, a few at time, being careful not to over crowd the pot. When placing the chicken in, don't use tongs. Tongs could rip the coating off, or the chicken could slip from the tongs and oil could go every where, possibly causing burns. Use your fingers to carefully lay the chicken into the oil, setting it in so that it goes away from you. Let the chicken fry for about 12 minutes. It will get nice and golden brown. When it's done, remove from the oil and let drain on some paper towels or a paper bag. I like to take a lemon and squeeze just a bit of juice onto the hot pieces, but that's just a me thing. Continue frying the chicken until all the pieces have been cooked. I serve mine with Cole Slaw and a nice hot buttermilk biscuit.


  1. This sounds delicious... but I can't make it! Want to know why?!? I don't know how to cut up a whole chicken myself! Do you think next time you do it you could take pictures and make a blog post out of it?!? And deboning a breast? Help me out here. I love to cook, but seriously, don't laugh, I don't know how to do these things! :)

  2. Loni
    It's really not hard at all to cut up a chicken, plus if you don't want to do it yourself, just grab a whole fryer and take it to meat counter. The butcher should do it for you. I will eventually get some pictures taken of doing up a chicken for you. You can find lots of videos on how to do this on youtube as well. That's where I learned :)


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