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Southern Style, Fried Chicken

Southern Style, Fried Chicken Picture

Updated:
Prep time:     Cook time:     Total time:
Yield: 4 - 6 servings

This Fried Chicken was super moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside, with tons of flavor. No wimpy chicken for me. Brining the chicken in the buttermilk was the key. It added the mild tang, and all the flavors that I included in it were carried into the chicken.

I've finally figured out what it is about fried chicken that makes it taste so good. By coating the outside you're sealing up the chicken so that it remains real moist. As I was eating this chicken, done all 3 ways, I was amazed that I had never realized this fact before. The Buttermilk Brine, brought the flavor of the blacken and the salt into the meat, and helped to put a lot of flavor into the meat on top of the flavor that was in the coating.

I've seen a lot of fried chicken recipes, and the coating seems to fall into 3 categories.

  1. Single Dredged:
  2. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk brine, and coat it with a flour mixture. This method gives a nice crispy skin without the heavy carbs of too much flour.

  3. Double Dredged:
  4. Single Dredge, then back into the buttermilk brine, then into the flour mix a 2nd time. Super Crispy with a lot of flavor from the Flour Mix.

  5. Crushed Corn Flakes:
  6. Single Dredge, then back into the buttermilk brine, then into crushed corn flakes. Real Crispy, but, other than the tradition of using the corn flakes, I'd rather use Panko Bread Crumbs mixed with a little flour to get a similar crunch.

I made all 3 versions to try them all out, and to see which one I liked the best. The double dredged method was the keeper. The meat ended up juicier than single dredging, and didn't have that sharp crunch of the crushed corn flakes. I would love the Corn Flake Method on chicken breasts, in a sandwich. That's where they'd shine, providing the extra crunch without the carbs, 'cause I'm already getting them from the roll.

Now a word on Frying the Chicken:
Cooking in my black frying pan as I did in this recipe is called "shallow frying", the chicken isn't able to float in the oil. I found that 20 - 25 minutes, turning them once, at 300 - 325 degrees usually cooks chicken perfectly. In this case that wasn't the case. They were far from done during that time because of their size. Each leg was about 1/3 of a pound, which is huge.

So now I've got to figure out how to finish cooking them without over browning (burning) the outside. The answer was putting them in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes, after I fried them. Although 45 minutes seems like a long time, the lower temperature was perfect, and didn't dry out the chicken. All in all, it was a total success.



Southern Style, Fried Chicken Mixing the Buttermilk Brine Picture


1.    Make up the brine by placing all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisking them up real good.


Southern Style, Fried Chicken Brining the Chicken Legs Picture


2.    Place the chicken into a large plastic storage bag, and fill with the brine.

Set this in your refrigerator overnight, and mix it up every once in a while.


Southern Style, Fried Chicken Setup for Dredging Fried Chicken Picture


3.    Whisk together the flour mix in a large bowl. Dump the brine out of the bag of chicken into a smaller bowl. If you'll be using the corn flakes, crush up enough to make up about 1 1 /2 cups and place them into a bowl also.


Southern Style, Fried Chicken ir Drying the dredged chicken Picture


4.    There are 3 methods for coating the chicken:

     a) Take the wet chicken and dredge in the flour mix, dust off any excess, and place them on a rack to dry.

     b) Dredge in flour, then brine, then back into the flour mix.

     c) Dredge in the flour mix, the leftover Brine, then the crushed corn flakes.

Place these on a rack to dry for about 20 minutes.


Southern Style, Fried Chicken Frying Chicken Picture


5.    I used my black fryin' pan to cook the chicken. Use enough oil to fill about 1/3 of the pan, and heat it to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken into the hot pan trying not to crowd it. The temperature of the oil will immediately drop to about 300 degrees. This is the perfect temperature for cooking the chicken. Cook about 25 minutes turning once.

When the chicken's done, you'll see a little blood coming out of the end of each piece of chicken, and the internal temperature should be 165 degrees.


Southern Style, Fried Chicken Resting the Fried Chicken Picture


6.    When the chicken's done, place it on a rack, in a pan, to drain any extra oil off. Don't place the chicken legs on paper towels because they'll just get soggy.


Southern Style, Fried Chicken Fried Chicken after Baking Picture


7.    This is where I had my problems, and had to punt. These Chicken Legs were fat and took a lot longer to cook than I was expecting. Even though I did my best to maintain a temperature of 300 - 325 degrees, the crust started to get too brown and the inside wasn't done yet.

In order to get them done, I heated my oven up to 300 degrees, and put the chicken legs on a rack in a pan, and placed them on, what suffices for, a middle rack. At 300 degrees they won't get any browner on the outside, and the inside can finish cooking. 45 minutes later, the thick part of the Chicken Leg was at 165 degrees and finally done.


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Leftovers



Store any leftovers in a plastic baggie in the refrigerator.

Cold, Leftover Fried Chicken is great for a snack or a picnic. Or, even a day on your boat.




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