The quintessential southern dish is fried chicken. There are as many recipes for fried chicken as there are
southern cooks, with most being passed down through generations. This classic American dish is though to have developed in the latter half of the
eighteenth century from the traditional fricasee or frigasee that was served in
most homes in the south.
Poultry Recipes and learn how to
Brine Poultry for a moister and tastier dish.
Don't forget to check out my
Old-Fashioned 4th of July Picnic menu which includes this wonderful Southern Fried Chicken.
Southern Fried Chicken Recipe
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
2 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) whole frying chicken, cut up for frying*
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 cups all-purpose
1 1/2 cups lard or solid
Cream Gravy (see recipe below)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as food agencies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere,
advises against washing poultry. Rinsing chicken will not remove or kill much
bacteria, and the splashing of water around the sink can spread the bacteria
found in raw chicken. Cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit effectively
destroys the most common culprits behind food-borne illness.
Place the chicken pieces in a basin of cold water and soak for a few minutes.
remove from water and drain well; pat dry with paper towels. Season generously
with salt and pepper.
In a large plastic bag, add flour; close the bag and shake to dust the inside of the bag.
In a large deep
cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt the lard or shortening and bring
to 350 degrees F. (hot but not smoking). To test
temperature of oil, drop a pinch of flour into pan; flour should float and
sizzle on hot oil. If flour sinks to bottom of pan and disperses, oil is not hot enough for frying.
Beginning with the dark meat dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat), drop the chicken, a few
pieces at a time, into the plastic bag; close the bag and shake until the pieces
are thoroughly coated. remove pieces from bag, shaking off excess flour, and
place into the hot fat. Repeat until all chicken pieces are coated and in the
pan. If you do not have a large enough pan, use two
pans or cook the chicken in batches. If you fry in batches, preheat the oven to
150 degrees F. to hold the cooked chicken. Do not hold chicken for more than 30
minutes or the chicken will dry out.
Reduce heat to medium; fry the chicken slowly 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottom side of each piece is a rich
golden brown. Carefully turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking an
additional 12 minutes or until each piece is golden brown on all sides and a
meat thermometer registers an
internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
(juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife). Remove and let drain on paper towels.
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the
Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat. Put the skillet back over the heat and made the Cream Gravy.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
2 tablespoons pan drippings left in the skillet along with the sold cooking residue.
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups milk or
cream, room temperature
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
In the same skillet in which you fried the chicken and left 2 tablespoons pan drippings, set burner heat to medium. Sprinkle
flour over the fat and blend or whisk until smooth.
Whisking or stirring constantly, slowly pour in milk or cream; continue stirring, scrapping loose any
browned bits that may be stuck to the skillet, until the gravy begins to boil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring
occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes or until gravy is thicken to the desired
consistency and the flour has lost its raw, pasty taste. Remove from pan and serve hot.