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You best fried chicken

Hey all, I'm looking for your fool proof best super crispy fried chicken recipe. I am looking for a southern style to accompany a southern-themed supper. Thank you all in advance!

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  1. OK, here's mine, which is a bit spicy, but really it's just more "extra savory." I place chicken pieces in a big bowl and liberally splash with Louisiana hot sauce, probably about a half cup for one chicken. Follow with an equal amount of buttermilk. Season with salt, black & cayenne pepper to your "expected" taste. Let marinate for several hours in the fridge, then set on counter and bring to room temperature.

    Season about 1 cup and a half of AP flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper - generally about a half teaspoon of each, maybe more, maybe less?

    Dredge chicken in flour mixture, place on a rack while dredging all pieces. When last piece is coated, bring about a quarter inch of oil or fat in each of two large cast iron skillets to medium-high heat. Give chicken pieces another dredge and place in hot oil, skin side down (start with larger pieces in one pan, smaller in the other). Don't discard the leftover flour. Brown, turning at about 10 minutes, and brown the other side. Reduce heat to medium/medium low ("4" on my gas stove). Cook a total of roughly 40 minutes or until chicken tests done with a meat thermometer. Place in warm oven to hold - mine has a "warm" feature, which is probably about 180-200 degrees.

    Pour out all but about 1/4 cup of lard/oil, reserving any crunchy pieces in the oil. Add 1/4 cup of the leftover flour - whisk in to prevent lumps - and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. Salt and pepper heavily. Pour in 3 cups milk all at once. Whisk and cook over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken. Season to taste.

    1. If you like deep-fried style rather than pan-fried, you might want to check out a thread we did on KFC Extra Crispy style at Home. It involves a weak overnight brine, a very weak milk wash and only 12 minutes in the fryer. Foolproof and comes out great every time.

      Here's the thread:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805988

      And here's a video I made to accompany it:

      http://youtu.be/Dsj228b-RX8

      If you give it a try let us know what you think.

      4 Replies
        1. re: acgold7

          Thats perfect. I appreciate it! Thank you!!

            1. re: Uncle Bob

              So, how would you suggest I execute this..
              I have 8 people to make chicken for, so I will surely be doubling etc recipes.. I can do no more than 2 pots at once.
              at the same time I will have something in the oven at 400 F...
              I will want everything done at the same time obviously..
              can I finish in the oven? Can I hold it outside the oven until its all almost done and then pop whatever I had to do first into the oven for 5-7 min to rewarm at 400 F?
              How many pieces can I fry at once if I were to do the deep fry?

              Any recommendations on execution would be great.

          1. So I think Im going to stick with pan-fry.. I think I want to use this recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fried-ch... (lots of good reviews) but I was thinking of double dredging.. is there any disadvantage do this?

            Also, how many pieces of chicken do you think I can fit per pot? and how long do you think they will take? im trying to time a whole meal so its important i have a sense of when these will be completed.

            5 Replies
            1. re: hungryabbey

              How long to fry all the chicken depends on how large and how many skillets you will be using....also, how large the chicken pieces will be, i.e. how larger the birds are 3-4 pound, or 5-7 pounds. Also depends on how you cut up the chicken into 8 or 10 pieces.... In general, you must avoid crowding the pan as well, so I will say you can cook 6-8 pieces at a time.

              I seem to recall a guest on cooking show who won a Fried Chicken Contest .....she actually covered the skillet while cooking the chicken.....on average, I believe it will take yo 35-30 minutes per batch.

              With regards to double dredging......that how they make extra crispy if not mistaken. If you do not stay on top of the temperature of the oil, you risk burning or greasy soaked coating.

              1. re: fourunder

                Okay, and if I deep fry in a dutch oven, most recipes I see show it will take me less time right? Can more pieces fit in the pot if I deep fry?

                1. re: hungryabbey

                  Using a dutch oven, do not fill the vessel with oil more than half way up the sides. I suggest you cook the dark pieces first, as they take more time to cool, thighs first, then legs...or separately if using two pots. As for the number of pieces that can fit in.....again it depends on your vessel. Is it a small round or oblong shape....or larger size. I surmise you can probably increase the number of pieces of chicken to 10-12- pieces easily, possibly a couple more... again, do not crowd, but drop the pieces in individually until you can fit as many in while keeping them submerged in the oil with the oil still being able to bubble around the chicken pieces. Consider cutting the chicken breast in half, or to include the wing portion for better portion size and cooking ease

                  If you have a turkey fryer, you could get away with one batch cooking.....

              2. re: hungryabbey

                If you'd read my post, I address at least the cooktime part of your question, as well as a double-dredge. (I soak in buttermilk and hot sauce, dredge in flour, let sit, then dredge in flour again). Just make sure to shake off any excess - you don't want extra flour in your oil. I wouldn't do a full double-dredge in liquid and flour again, it just seems as if it'd add too much coating for pan-fried. I do the second dredge because when you let the pieces sit on a rack for a while, the moisture from the chicken seeps through in spots, and the last thing I want to do is add a wet component to hot oil.

                As for the reviews - it's a pretty basic recipe, I'm sure it'll be fine.

              3. I suggest Paula Deen's recipe for Southern Fried Chicken, which you can find on the foodnetwork website.

                8 Replies
                1. re: dave_c

                  okay so about 15 minutes then for dark meat?

                  1. re: hungryabbey

                    I would strongly suggest doing a test run or two before your party.

                    1. re: kengk

                      Unfortunately I don't have time but I'm not too concerned as I'm a fairly intuitive cook. plus I think Ive read enough recipes now and have watched a lot of youtube videos, I'm more than prepared ha. I always try new recipes for events, and am pretty much always successful. It's just my family anyways, and I'm the only one in the family who cooks, so I'm sure it will work out just fine.

                        1. re: kengk

                          Hey, so sorry for the long delay, I have been crazy busy.
                          The verdict? Flavour-wise, it was spot on, but I had some technical difficulties (my-biggest-deep-frying-fears) that messed with my desired texture a bit.
                          See, I was originally going to use two deep pots, one for the thighs, and one for the drumsticks and I thought I could do it all in one batch based on all of the recipes I read and all your tips (I really wanted to do it in one batch because I was trying to time the chicken with all of the other meal components... and I had the puddin' in the oven at 400 F, so I didn't want to keep previous batches warm in the oven at 400 F or it would overcook!) So then, my parents (this was for Mothers Da and I was cooking in their home) saw what I was planning on doing and got worried that it would be too dangerous with not one (which I have tackled successfully in the past) but TWO bubbling pots of oil on the stove. Yah, it was risky but I was prepare to do it. So they brought home a commercial deep fryer from Canadian Tire and I was SO excited until I saw how small it was (it would have fit 2-3 pieces of chicken MAX (aka. that would mean 10 CHICKEN BATCHES!) It just wasn't going to happen. So then my dad reminded me about my big canning pot in the garage which is massive and could take up two burners but might be safer to manage. So I thought, okay fine, I will use that and because its so big, I can fit all the chicken in there. This is what I did (kind of mixed a bunch of recipes together)

                          Marinade:
                          1 L of buttermilk
                          12 drumsticks and 10 chicken thighs (all bone in and skin on, of course)

                          Put the chicken into a large container and cover with the buttermilk. Cover the container and refrigerate over night.

                          Seasoning spice:
                          1/2 cup salt
                          1/4 cup black pepper
                          1/4 cup garlic powder

                          The next day, mix the seasoning spice ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months (you won't need all of this).

                          Egg wash:
                          8 eggs
                          2/3 cup water
                          About 1 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce

                          In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water and hot sauce.

                          Flour Dredge:
                          2 cups self-rising flour
                          1 teaspoon pepper

                          In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper.

                          Remove the chicken from the buttermilk. Season each piece liberally with a pinch of the seasoning milk. Then put it into the flour mixture. Then the egg mixture. Then the flour mixture and set it on a wire rack. Continue until its all done and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

                          About 10 L of Vegetable Oil

                          Meanwhile, begin to heat up the oil to 350 F in the pot with a thermometer. Never fill the pot more than 1/2 way full.

                          Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Expect that the oil will drop in temperature once the chicken is put in the pot, but it should rise back up to 350 F. Dark meat takes longer then white meat. It should take dark meat about 15 to 20 minutes, white meat (if you use it) around 10 to 13 minutes.

                          Gravy:

                          5 tbsp flour
                          5 tbsp reserved bacon fat (or whatever fat you like)
                          2 cups chicken stock
                          2 cups whole milk
                          Salt, paprika, cayenne, onion powder and garlic powder to taste
                          1 tbsp cold butter

                          Over medium heat, cook the flour and fat together for about 4 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock until smooth, then stir in 2 cup milk and the seasonings, and bring all to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until its thickened to your liking. Stir in cold butter and serve immediately with the chicken.

                          Okay, so what happened.. Well, the chicken had a lot of good batter on it because I did the double dredge method, and despite being cooked all the way through, it was so juicy and tender, I could hardly believe it. However, the issue was that the temperature was just too low. All of the recipes I read told me that the temperature WILL drop when the chicken is added to the pot, and yes, it did... but mine never was able to go back up to 350 F where I wanted it. As a result, the chicken took a little longer to cook (maybe 25 minutes?), and the batter, while golden brown and crispy, was pretty "heavy" (because the low temperature made it absorb too much of the oil).
                          The gravy, however, was super rich but gorgeously sumptuous (and I kind of improvised it), but I guess when you've got butter and whole milk.. how can it be bad?

                          So I definitely learned a lot about deep frying in large batches (aka just plan for it to be done in batches somehow.. or buy an industrial sized kitchen). After the chicken, I made doughnuts in the same oil and they were delicious and perfect.. i guess all of the starch in the pot really helped with the caramelization on the dough. Yum. Thanks all!

                          1. re: hungryabbey

                            An outdoor cooker can rock out huge batches of fried chicken for a large crowd in one cooking session.

                            1. re: 1POINT21GW

                              Ha. One day (when I dont live in an apartment) I will totally go there. its on the list with the smoker, and wood fire oven.

                            2. re: hungryabbey

                              Sounds delicious!

                              Give it a try with the smaller pots. I think that huge pot you used (10 L is a little over 2.5 gallons!) required a lot more BTU's than your hob could produce.

                              It's all a fun (and delicious) learning experience. :-)

                  2. Much too late to this party, I know, but one recommendation I keep running into, in my own quest for THE fried chicken, is a long soak in buttermilk and hot sauce and then double-dipping in SELF-RISING flour. I have yet to try that, waiting for when the now-veggie Mrs. O is out of town for the week …

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Self-rising flour does make great fried chicken.

                      Regarding the hot sauce, if you're going for heat, skip the hot sauce and use cayenne in the buttermilk instead. You won't taste any of the hot sauce if you use it.

                      1. re: 1POINT21GW

                        Yah, I did use self rising flour and it did help I think. But you are right.. I used hot sauce and I can't say I detected it.. but regardless of how hot it tasted, I liked the flavour overall.