Bubba's Bar 'n' Grill

Full Version: Chicken, Hot Fried Chicken
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Chicken is my passion. Hot fried for me is the best. I've dined at regional favorites like Babe's in Texas, but I always come back to the Reel M Inn located in SE Portland. It's the best chicken dinner you'll eat ... or I'll buy.
I had this thing called Chicken George at the Candlelight Inn in Rock Falls, IL. It was damn tasty. Kind of like chicken tenders, but with a very zesty coating, more akin to fried chicken.

We have a fried chicken place in our area, Gils Supper Club in Hanna City, IL. It's pretty good. The coating is less than seasoned, probably because of the larger senior clientele. But once you dig into the meat, holy cow! Tender, juicy, drool inducing bird all the way. Their tag line is "To get a better piece of chicken, you'd have to be a rooster!" Funny, and true...

I have my own fried chicken recipe. I call it 'Tiffini's 5 Year Fried Chicken' because it's such a pain in the rear to make that I only bust it out every few years or so. My kitchen is a disaster after I make it, but man, it's worth it! We usually take a GINORMOUS hamper-full to the local Shakespeare festival for the pre-show picnic when we go with friends. That and my favorite pasta salad, a few bottles of vino, and an entire Hooters (yes, Hooters) Chocolate Mousse Cake. Mmmmmmm!
Stop teasing and share the recipe...please...unless it's like the Colonel's and top secret!

PS....Can't stand Kentucky Fried Grease.
Not much of a recipe, I'm afraid. One of those things you develop over time. I've given it my best shot here. My only recommendation for folks making fried chicken is to never cook it on autopilot. Some meals you can throw together with no brain power, but fried chicken demands your respect every step of the way. Good luck!

Shopping List
Whole chicken, cut for frying - 3 pounds
Buttermilk - 1 quart
Milk - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1, lightly beaten
Flour - 2 cups
Vegetable Shortning (Crisco) - 2.5 cups
Seasonings (Salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, poultry seasoning) to taste

Hardware:
Minimum 12 inch skillet - cast iron is best, but a heavy pan of any make will work - WITH LID (my Mom always used a plate, works, too)
Paper bags (lots)
Gallon sized freezer bags
Large dish or bowl

Step one: Marinade
Rinse all chicken pieces in cool water, pat dry with paper towels. Buttermilk, salt, pepper, and chicken all go into a freezer bag (or two). Smoosh around. Place in the dish or bowl (just in case) and place in the fridge for minimum 4 hours, maximum 8 hours.

Step two: Coating
Combine flour and seasonings in a (strong) paper bag and give it a shake. Combine milk and egg in a bowl. Put all chicken in bag, and shake it like crazy to coat all the nooks and crannies. Remove ALL chicken to a plate. Dredge chicken in egg/milk mixture, and place the chicken back in the bag as you go. Give it another good shake and sit the bag back in the fridge. (Some folks prefer to work the chicken a few pieces at a time, that's fine, too. I'm just not a batch worker.)

Step three: Frying
Most important step. Melt the shortning in your pan. I recommend using a thermometer and keeping your shortning at 355°F to 360°F. If you have no thermometer, keep the shortning hot enough to sizzle a small piece of chicken when added, but should never smoke. Medium high for most stoves.
Keep the melted shortning at about 1 inch in depth. Just watch it as it melts, adding little amounts until you get your depth right. Not over an inch, we aren't deep frying.
Now, retrieve your chicken from the fridge, and working quickly, add it to the pan.
Add the dark meat pieces to the center of the pan first, skin side down. Then add the white meat around it. Chicken pieces can touch, but don't overlap them. All pieces should have 'face time' with the oil. BE CAREFUL! I use grilling tongs to add the chicken since they're longer. Don't get yourself burned!
Cover with lid and let cook. There is no 'time' for cooking, every stove/pan is different. After about 7 minutes, give it a peek. Open lid slowly. If the bottom is looking goldeny brown, time to flip it.
After the flip, you can leave the lid off and reduce the heat to medium - 340°F. The reason we start frying on a little higher heat is to kind of sear in the moisture which only works cause the chicken is cold. Now that the chicken is warm, no need to be quite so hot. And leave the lid off to reduce condensation now that we're getting to the crunchy part. This side may take a little longer.
The big test for all chicken is to wait until a knife inserted into the meatiest part of the bird yields clear juices. Or you can use a poultry thermometer. Safety first!

Final Step:
Remove chicken pieces, and drain on paper bags - NOT TOWELS!
This is the worst part: Let the chicken rest for 7-10 minutes. Like any other good piece of meat, letting the chicken move those juices around and cool slightly is the best way to serve.
I'm not saying you have to serve this with pan gravy, mashed potatoes, and homemade biscuits, but I'm pretty sure it's written in the Bible somewhere. Skip that part at your own risk.
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