Fried Chicken

August 5, 2011

Main Dishes

I had the best Mother in law –EVER!  Honestly I did, she was perfect.  Never was there a word of criticism from her about anything,  she never said a word on how we were raising The Daughter or running our household.  If she thought we were doing it wrong I never knew about it.  Her whole philosophy was that she there to send gifts on birthdays and holidays and when she came to visit to it was game on for the spoiling of all three of us.  Sadly she has been gone for over 10 years and I still miss looking for my birthday card every February, not for the $50 bill (yes bill not check…) she would always tuck in the card, even though we would tell her to NOT send money,  it was the matter that she would always go out of her way to make sure it got to me.  I guess you should know this was not an easy feat as she had crippling arthritis and getting out in the middle of winter to grab a card was not easy on her joints.

My M-I-L was not a big cook and in her words not a good cook.  Personally I never had a problem with her cooking.  Did she cook like me, no way, as much as I am bold and brassy she was subtle and understated.  She grew up during the depression so she learned to cook in a very different way, not wrong,  just different.  There were 2 dishes I always asked her to make when we would come home on Leave,  pot roast and fried chicken.  I watched her make these 2 dishes for more than 10 years I mean intently watched but I was not able to replicate what she did.  She tried to teach me to make fried chicken every summer but alas and alack it still eludes me.

Now I am sure you are wondering what in the world I am doing posting a Fried Chicken recipe when I just said I can not cook Fried Chicken…right?  Well I long ago decided that bone-in fried chicken will forever elude me in my opinion because it doesn’t measure up to my M-I-L’s so I have decided to settle for boneless fried chicken.  Now when it comes to making boneless fried chicken it is game on!  I am deadly accurate with no bones to mess things up for me.  Moist.  Flavorful.  Bold. Crunchy.  It has those lovely little flakes of golden batter lifting up…are you getting the picture?  The nice thing is the coating  used in this recipe is not so thick that you have to wonder if there is any chicken in the mass of breading.  I think the key for a successful Fried Chicken is to use boneless chicken thighs, they are more moist and flavorful than boneless breast.  You can brine your chicken before hand to add to the flavor/moisture content if you would like but by using the thighs you really don’t need to.

Fried Chicken

1 1/2 lbs Boneless Chicken thighs (visible fat removed)

2 c AP Flour

16 oz Buttermilk

4 Ts McCormick’s Season Salt

2 Ts Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Tb garlic powder

Oil for frying

Exam gloves

Pour buttermilk into a bowl or med baking dish, stir in 1/2 of the season salt submerge chicken into buttermilk and allow to soak for at least 30 minutes or over night.  Be sure all the chicken is in the buttermilk so it doesn’t dry out.

Everybody in the buttermilk pool for a dip…

While your chicken is soaking in the buttermilk you can set up your breading station.  You will need a dish for the flour to coat the chicken as it comes out of the buttermilk bath.  To the flour add the remaining spices and give a good stir to distribute the spices into the flour.  Set up your breading station with the best flow going towards the hot oil.  here is my set up…Exam Gloves are your friend!

Future crunchy golden bits…

Pour about 1/2″ of oil into a heavy frying pan and allow it to get hot as you do your breading.  OK now to keep from getting “club hand” from breading the thighs I use exam gloves. You have the option to double coat your chicken or single coat it.  The Husband likes his a bit thicker so I double coat.  Using one hand has as the “wet” hand pull out a thigh and allow the buttermilk to drip off then into the flour where you will use your other hand, the “dry” hand, to cover the thigh with flour and remove to the resting place on the cutting board, plate, or counter.  Let the chicken rest and hydrate the flour, if you are double dipping the begin with the first piece and go back into the buttermilk and flour. By the time you have all your chicken breaded your oil should be hot.  Starting with the first piece you dipped lay the thigh into the hot oil.   ALWAYS lay any item going into hot oil going away from you like so…

Sorry about it being blurry kind of hard to photograph as you do on this one.

I use a non stick pan as it is the heavy one I have, once you get the chicken into the oil DO NOT mess with the chicken it will stick to the bottom of the pan, leave it alone and allow the oil to do its job once you can see the crust beginning to brown you should be able to move it without the loss of your coating due to it sticking.  You will want to let it cook for about 4-5 minutes on this side then flip and give it another couple of minutes max.  Remember to remove the thigh just before it’s the color you want to end up with as it will continue to slightly brown once you take it out of the oil due to carry over heat.

These are just about ready to come out.

I drain my pieces on a wire rack but going directly to paper towels are just fine as well.  I usually serve this chicken with either white gravy made from the browned bits in the bottom of the pan or I break out the almost world-famous WikiJan BBQ sauce.  I also use this method to make Chicken Parm, I just change out the seasonings.

Now go play with your food.



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