I don’t DO fried chicken very often. I do oven fried chicken, baked chicken, sauteed chicken, barbecued chicken, and who knows how many other variations. But fried? Yet, that was the eldest’s request for a Sunday night dinner. And I do try to accommodate requests for specific dishes. Of course, given my penchant for experimentation, they’ve learned to be specific if they want specific!
I started with The Perfect Recipe by Pam Anderson but immediately had to adapt. I didn’t have buttermilk and didn’t think my powdered baking substitute would work for fried chicken. I have made tandoori chicken, soaking the chicken pieces in yogurt first, so I went with that.
I had to use two skillets, both large, to fit in one whole chicken cut into pieces. I cut into the standard wings, legs, thighs, breasts and then cut the breasts in half, so basically 10 pieces.
The recipe called for 3-4 cups of vegetable shortening, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. So I used about half that, probably less than 2 cups, split between the two pans. I didn’t quite reach the recommended 1/2″ recommended depth though.
This was really good!
Serve over mashed potatoes with some greens on the side. Mmmmmm!
- 1 cup plain yogurt Or use 1 1/2 cups buttermilk instead of the yogurt and milk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 Tbs salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 chicken, cut into 8 or 10 pieces
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
To Cook the Chicken
- 2-4 cups of vegetable shortening
- neck and back of chicken, cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 small onion, quartered
- pinch salt
- 3 Tbs flour
- 3 Tbs fat from cooking the chicken
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth use part milk if you want a cream gravy
Prepping the Chicken
- Mix together the yogurt and milk and soak your chicken for at least 2 hours and up to one day.
Making Broth for Gravy
- Brown the chicken neck and back pieces in 1 tsp oil with a chopped onion for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook another 20 minutes. Add a quart of water (for 1 chicken neck and back), lower the heat, and cook another 20 minutes at least, leaving the liquid just simmering.
Frying the Chicken
- In a paper bag (if you like to shake) or a flat pie pan or other dish, mix together the flour, salt and pepper.
- Shake or dredge the chicken pieces a few at a time and then lay them on a wire rack set over a sheet pan until you’re ready to cook the chicken.
- Heat the shortening in a large skillet. You want it about 1/2″ deep. I had to use two skillets to fit the chicken pieces. When you think the shortening is hot enough, put a pinch of flour in it. It should sizzle. Add the chicken pieces skin-side down and cover, cooking for 5 minutes, then turn the pieces over, cover again and cook another 5 minutes.
- Turn the chicken pieces over again and rearrange the chicken if needed so they are cooking evenly. Leave the pan uncovered and cook another 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the chicken and lay either on a rack or on a paper bag while you make the gravy.
Making the Gravy
- Strain the hot fat into a Pyrex glass measuring cup or other heat-safe container.
- Pour any browned bits from the frying and 3 Tbs of the fat back into the skillet. Whisk 3 Tbs flour in and cook over medium high heat, stirring almost non-stop to keep it mixed for 2 to 3 minutes. A wire whisk or a flat wooden spoon works well fro this.
- Slowly add the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook a few minutes until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.