Recipe: Classic Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy of The Big Book of Chicken by Maryana Vollstedt

Published by Chronicle Books

Classic Fried Chicken

If you are hungry for some good, old-fashioned fried chicken, here it is. Soaking the chicken in buttermilk adds a tangy flavor and produces a crispier crust. Choice parts do not include boney parts such as wings, backs, and neck.

  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 package premium chicken parts (about 3 pounds) or a 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut up (use choice parts)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil for frying
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and Tabasco. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let stand in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
  2. On a piece of waxed paper, mix the flour, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture and shake off the excess. Roll the chicken in the flour mixture and set on a cooling rack. Repeat with all of the chicken.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat about 1/4 inch of oil to very hot. Add the chicken and cook it, turning several times with tongs, until lightly browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not crowd; cook in batches, if necessary. Add more oil, as needed. Reduce the heat to low. Cover tightly and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, 40 to 45 minutes, turning once. Remove the lid and cook until crispy, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Drain on paper towels.
Makes 4 servings

Variation: After browning, transfer the chicken to a 2-quart casserole, cover, and bake in a 350 degrees F oven until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 45 minutes. Remove the lid for the last 5 minutes of cooking time to crisp up the chicken.

Crust Variations: Add 1 teaspoon chili powder to the flour.
Reduce the flour to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Add 1 or 2 large cloves garlic, minced, to the buttermilk.
Use self-rising flour for a crispier crust.
Add dried herbs to the flour.

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