Cooking Louisiana - Fried Chicken  

I've eaten many a piece of fried chicken. The majority of it was wrapped in a grease blanket of breading and the like. I don't like "too" greasy foods, especially greasy breaded foods and fried chicken is one of those.

After years of testing I've come up with a fried chicken recipe that has a "tight" crust (virtually greaseless).  There is no "blanket of grease" to pull off. I think you'll enjoy it.

Before I go on.... Red Beans and Rice go great with Fried Chicken right? So, if Monday is "Red Beans & Rice Day", I christen Tuesday as "Fried Chicken Day"! So, cook enough Red Beans Monday to make "Fried Chicken Day" happen! A little rice dressing on the side is also great....

1 chicken (4 lbs. or less) Cut up like you like it.
Oil to fry

Wet mix
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs. Creole Seasoning (your choice)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chicken herbs
Salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Note: be creative with the above... several different mixes are really good.

Cut, wash and pat dry the chicken. Put in a bowl and add the liquid mix. Mix it all up and keep the chicken cool (put it in the ice box). Marinating is optional (I do mine about 15 minutes). Marinating it is virtually useless since the chicken has a membrane surrounding the meat which lets little, if any, seasoning inside. Of course if you slit the meat to let the marinade in, the juices escape while cooking and you wind up with seasoned chicken leather.

Dry Mix
2 cups corn flour (see note 1) or chicken fry
3/4 cup cornstarch (makes it stick better and tightens it up)
2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning (your favorite)
Salt and Pepper
(Read an alternative mix at the end)

Cooking:

Dredge the chicken in the dry mix and let sit a minute or so moving it around just a little. Using a paper bag works good for this too. Pour the dry mix in the bag, drop the chicken in and shake it up a few times. 

Use peanut oil. 2" in the pan. Heat to 360F (hot oil will burn you badly, please be careful). Place chicken in oil leaving at least a 3/4" space between pieces. Why? If you pack the pan with too much meat the oil cools too much and that equals soggy chicken (not good).

Timing: In general, cook the thick pieces (thighs, legs, breast pieces) for at least 15 minutes. The smaller pieces (wings, backs, neck, etc.) at least 10 minutes turning every minute or so. I watch the bubbling to judge the doneness, I don't time it. If it quits bubbling completely you now have chicken leather. With practice you can get each piece done perfectly. You cannot tell how done the chicken is by the outer color, it's all in the bubbles! If the bubbles are half of what they were at the beginning it's probably done. Another hint, in each batch try to cook the same size pieces, it's easier to judge the bubble intensity and you'll take them out all at the same time.

Remove the chicken and place on paper towels. Move them around so the grease is soaked up.

Let the oil come back to 360F for the next batch! Remember, the oil cools as you cook. If you don't have a frying thermometer get one, guessing just don't get it!

Note 1: I am lucky enough to be able to get corn flour from a wholesale distributor. A 20lb. sack costs about $6.00. You can also use a commercially sold chicken fry mix which uses the same basic ingredients. It's mostly corn flour (read the ingredients), and comes seasoned and unseasoned. You can also mix corn meal and flour and that works just fine also. Corm meal is courser than corn flour, hence the name, "corn flour". If all you have is flour, add a little Bisquick to it (see below)! Be creative!

Note 2: To keep it warm put the oven on 200F (or as low as it will go) and let it warm up about 15 minutes. Cover the chicken with paper towels (not plastic wrap) or loosely with  foil, turn the oven off, and put the pan in the oven. If you seal the pan with plastic wrap or foil the chicken will become soggy. If you leave the oven on it will dry out too much. This only works for so long. After a few re-heats the chicken will dry out anyway.

This is just the way I fry chicken and I'd like to know how you do it. Send me your recipe.

Alternative Dry Mix:  1/2 & 1/2 - Chicken Fry (store bought) & Bisquick....same seasoning as above.

Enjoy.....

 

 

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