The Best Fried Chicken
When we started selling chicken at the Farmer’s Market back in 2004, I would have people say, “I bet you have a great fried chicken recipe”. I was always so disappointed to inform them I had never made fried chicken. What?!?!
We were chicken farmers. We were expected to have a good recipe. I went looking. We tried several but locked onto this one and never looked back! It is crispy, juicy, and seasoned to perfection every time. It was originally published by the editors of Cooks Illustrated magazine in a book called The Best Recipes. We want everyone that uses our meat, eggs and milk to have good experiences. I think you will find this to be a favorite in your home.
Allergy Alert: We are now entirely grain free and I have not tried the alternative flours substitutes yet (coconut flour, almond meal, etc.). If you try some of these, please let me know which work well and what your experiences are.
The Best Fried Chicken
1 whole chicken (3-4.5 lb) cut into 8 pieces
2 c flour
1.5 c buttermilk (you could make your own or buy it)
3-4 c fat for frying (lard, tallow, schmaltz, etc.)
1 t salt
½ t pepper
Place chicken pieces in a gallon ziplock bag. Mix buttermilk with 1 t salt and ½ t pepper. Pour mixture over chicken; seal bag then refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
Measure flour, 1 t salt, and ½ t pepper into large double brown paper bag; shake to combine. Drop half chicken pieces into flour mixture and shake thoroughly to completely coat with flour.
Remove chicken from bag, shaking excess flour from each piece. Place coated chicken on a large wire rack set over a jelly roll pan until ready to fry. Repeat coating with remaining chicken.
Meanwhile, spoon enough fat to measure 1/2 inch deep into a 12 inch skillet; heat to 350 degrees. Place chicken pieces, skin side down, into the oil; cover with lid or cookie sheet and cook for 5 minutes. Lift chicken pieces with tongs to make sure chicken is browning evenly. Cover and continue another 5-8 minutes (oil should be about 250-300 degrees; staying at this temp until done).
Turn chicken over with tongs and cook uncovered until chicken is brown all over—about 12-15 more minutes. Remove chicken from skillet with tongs and set over wire rack and jelly pan to drip dry.
For larger chickens you need to adjust the time and use a bit longer before and after turning them. My cast iron is only 8 inches but works fine. I just need to do three batches. It is helpful to cut the breast pieces in half to make them more similarly sized.
Enjoy! It is good stuff!