Recently I held a poll on my Instagram asking which recipe I should start this blog with.
By a majority of 52%, homemade “KFC” won.
Now I don’t claim to be able to fry chicken with the sophistication and delicate skill of the Colonel but I have spent many Friday nights with a bourbon and some Peter Gabriel blasting frying chicken as a feel good meal.
Frying chicken is a skill and it takes time to get it right. To me, it is also a highly personal recipe. Everyone’s tastes are completely different and this plays in perfectly with the versatility of fried chicken. Do you prefer traditional, lightly seasoned coating? What is your brine/marinade of choice? What is your spice mix for tasty breading?
One of the most exciting things about this recipe is being able to tweak it to suit your tastes and developing your own secret recipe/spice mix.
So let’s get started.
Wait hold on, sorry. Before you get started… Be sure to check my post about fried chicken tips. There’s a lot of useful stuff in there. I ate a lot of dry, tasteless chicken and burned myself a lot getting this knowledge for you so don’t let it all be in vain. Plus you’ll be a chicken pro on your first try. What a guy/girl. Go you.
Southern Fried Chicken – 3 ways.
I found it difficult to choose between which chicken recipe to start with so here’s a selection. The process is largely the same for whichever part of the chicken you’ve opted for.
With the process below you can choose to make fried chicken strips, fried chicken sandwiches or fried chicken drumsticks.
2 Chicken breasts (If making strips or sandwiches)
4 Chicken drumsticks
3 medium eggs
Hot sauce (optional)
For sandwiches: Brioche buns.
Garnish such as lettuce, tomato, fried onions, Leerdammer cheese, BBQ sauce etc.
- 350ml buttermilk
- 4 tsp table salt (if doubling or halving the portions, 1-2tsp salt per 250ml marinade is a good rule of thumb)
- 1tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp hot sauce (optional) – I use Frank’s
- Add any additional spices you feel like, paprika, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, experiment a little. Don’t go too overboard though or you’ll lose the flavour.
- 180g plain flour
- 1Tbsp garlic salt
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 2 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
Again, if there are things here you don’t like or really like, adjust your measurements to create your own spice blend. HOWEVER I’d recommend making it as above first to get a good basis for changing the mix to suit your tastes.
- Prepare your chicken. If making strips, cut the white, tough part off the underside of the breasts. Slice the breast length ways into strips of your preferred thickness. Remember that the coating will add body to the strips so don’t cut them too thick. If making sandwiches, wrap the breast in clingfilm and pound it flat with the flat surface of a tenderising mallet, or the roll of clingfilm will do fine. Be firm but gentle, you’re not trying to mash the chicken. It should look like this:
- Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Submerge the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for 6-24 hours. If you’re really in a pinch you can do it for an hour or so. It’ll still work but it just wont be as moist.
- Have a beer, watch T.V, walk the dog, go to work… do whatever it is you want to do. come back in 6-24 hours.
- Have another beer you’ll need it.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge roughly an 30 minutes – 1 hour before frying to allow it to come to room temperature. You don’t really want to fry cold chicken as it’ll mess with the oil temperature and be a pain to cook evenly and properly.
- Mix all ingredients for the seasoned flour together and place on a flat plate.
- Beat the eggs together. Again here I like to add several dashes of hot sauce, a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper to the egg mixture.
- Pour vegetable oil into a heavy bottomed deep pan if using one. Fill the pan with enough oil to fry the chicken but DO NOT fill it past half way because you’re about to have a pan of boiling oil sitting on your stove. Its no joke if that thing falls off. Please be extremely careful. If you have a fryer, set it to 180ºC.
- Take the chicken out of the buttermilk a piece at a time. Allow for some of the mixture to drip off. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, dip it in the egg and then back in flour to ensure a nice even, crunchy coat. (Timon’s Top Tip: Keep one hand for dry ingredients and one hand for wet. This will stop you getting your hands covered in batter, keep the kitchen clean and won’t waste your flour mix being stuck to your fingers).
- Leave the chicken to sit for 10 minutes or so. This allows the flour mixture to form a nice paste-like consistency on the chicken which, once fried, will give you a lovely craggy, crispy crust on the chicken.
- Fry the chicken a couple of pieces at a time. Don’t overcrowd the pan as this will lower the oil temperature and leave you with soggy chicken and bugger up your cooking times.
- Once the chicken is golden brown and cooked (8-10 minutes for drumsticks, 4-5 minutes for strips, 4-5 minutes for the flattened breast) take it out and set it on a wire rack to drain and rest. Remember: resting meat isn’t resting, it is finishing cooking. Chicken is safe to eat at 71ºC. It won’t be this when you take it out of the oil. It will continue to cook as it rests. If you are unsure don’t be afraid to cut it open and have a look inside.
- Serve with chips, coleslaw, mac and cheese, brioche bun and accessories, corn on the cob, creamed spinach, hot sauce, BBQ sauce and very cold beer. A nice Sauvignon Blanc goes well with fried foods too if wine is more your speed. Chill it very very cold and the crisp dry flavours will cut through the grease of the chicken excellently.
Like I said. This is a favourite of mine to cook at the weekends because it’s deceptively easy, pretty quick (excluding marinating time) and good fun to cook.
Any questions or comments or suggestions feel free to fire me a message or comment here.
Have you tried this recipe and have improvements to suggest? Get your own blog. Stop criticising my work. I joke, don’t be afraid to leave any comments or suggestions down below. This blog is a work in progress and I’m learning to cook along with everyone else so I’d be glad of the help.
Thanks for reading and happy cooking!