My dad often brought us to eat fried chicken during weekends after our movie session when we were young, sometimes at KFC, sometimes at Texas and some other fried chicken outlets. I think fried chickens are well-liked by children to adults. I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t like fried chicken.
I hardly ever made any fried chicken on my own however. Thank God I saw this Fried Chicken 101 recipe in Martha Stewart Living Cookbook. I must say that this fried chicken recipe is a keeper for me FOREVER! You only need one good fried chicken recipe and this is it for me.
The crunchiness of the skin is almost ridiculous (in a good way), thank to the baking powder and shortening. Sounds deadly to your arteries and waistline I know. Definitely don’t want to do fried chicken every week, though I can see myself eating them without hesitation lol. In her cookbook, Martha Stewart mentioned that they conducted a test in a kitchen to see just how much oil the chicken absorbs during the frying process. They were amazed at the results that every 16 pieces of fried chicken absorbed only 2 3/4 tablespoon of oil. Hmm…that’s not too bad for a fried chicken, isn’t it ?
If you do give this recipe a try, I believe you won’t be disappointed because I was delighted to hear that crunch. A music to my ear and a massage to my tongue…that’s how I would describe it!! Like Martha always says “It’s a good thing”.
Please weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.
- 6 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp kosher salt - regular table salt is saltier, so do cut back if you use regular table salt
- 1/3 cup hot red-pepper sauce - optional
- 2-3 lbs chickens - each cut into 8 pieces for frying
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 lbs or 4 cups pure vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp bacon drippings - optional
- Combine the buttermilk, 1 tbsp salt, and the red-pepper sauce, if using, in a large airtight container. Add the chicken pieces, turning to coat in the liquid. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight
- Combine the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup salt, the black and cayenne peppers, and the baking powder in a large brown paper bag. Shake vigorously
- One at a time, place the chicken pieces in the bag, and shake to coat. Place the coated pieces on a clean plate or tray. Heat the vegetable shortening (and bacon drippings, if using) in two 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat (one large cast-iron skillet may be used; it will just take longer to fry all the chicken).
- Using a frying thermometer to measure the temperature, bring the shortening to 375 F; it should be at medium, not a rolling boil. Use tongs to place the thighs and drumsticks in the skillets. Fry until the coating is dark golden on the bottom, 10 to 14 minutes, then using tongs, turn the chicken over. Cook until the coating is dark golden, another 10-14 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh should register 190 F
- Drain on absorbent layers of paper towels. Using slotted spoon, remove any bits of crisp coating left in the skillet, and discard. You don't want this to burn when you fry the next batch
- Place the breasts and wings in the skillets. Cook 10-14 minutes on each side. Drain on absorbent layers of paper towels. Serve warm