Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Southern Fried Chicken & Biscuits

If you are regular readers of this blog, you would know that both Kevin and I love fried chicken. We love all kinds of fried chicken, especially Southern Fried Chicken. I've never attempted to make any at home, cos it was so easy to just go to our favorite fried chicken place and pick up a bucket! However, it's been a while since we ate any (since we started our little "try to eat healthier' quest :P). Chicken thighs and drumsticks were on sale at our local grocery store not too long ago and I figured, why not? Let me try to make some Southern Fried Chicken at home. A few pieces of yummy fried chicken won't kill us. So, I googled Southern Fried Chicken recipes and found quite a few. I really like Paula Deen and The Neely Family's (I regard them both as gurus of Southern cooking!) recipe, so I took bits and pieces from each of that and came up with my own. Check it out!
Start off my cleaning the chicken pieces (I used thighs and drumsticks but you can pretty much use anything you like) and patting them dry with a paper towel. Season them with some freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and seasoned salt. Make sure that you season both sides of the chicken. Then, set it aside.
Next, pour in a quart of buttermilk into a large bowl.
Then, add in some hot sauce. It doesn't matter what kind of hot sauce you use but if you are Paula Deen fans, you would know that she swears by Texas Pete. I personally like Texas Pete too, but it's entirely up to you. You can put in as much or as little as you like. The Neelys used about 2 tablespoons where else Paula Deen used half a small bottle!
After mixing the hot sauce into the buttermilk, add in 1 tablespoon of crushed cayenne pepper. You gotta be careful with this, cos it really packs a punch. If you don't like it to be so spicy, you should just use half a tablespoon.
Now, place the chicken pieces into a deep casserole dish. Then, pour the buttermilk mixture over it. You should allow your chicken pieces to sit for at least 15 mins after you season them before soaking them in the buttermilk mixture. If you do it any sooner, the seasoning will just wash off. Soaking the chicken pieces in buttermilk is really important, cos not only does it give it flavor, but it also really tenderizes the chicken. Cover the dish with an air tight lid and allowed it to soak for at least 2 hours. I allowed mine to soak overnight, it's better that way.
Once you are ready to fry the chicken, you can start preparing the flour mixture to dredge the chicken pieces. Combine some all purpose flour with some black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. You can also add in some corn starch if you like. The corn starch actually helps make your fried chicken really crispy! Mix it all together and you are all set to go.
Gently remove a piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture and allow all access buttermilk to drip off. Then, slow dredge it in the flour mixture. Make sure you coat the entire piece of chicken well.
Then, place the chicken pieces in hot peanut oil. Make sure that it is hot enough before you place the chicken in. It should be around 350F. Also, do not over crowd the pan. If you put in too many pieces, it would lower the temperature of the pan and the chicken would not turn out right. Unless you have a really big pan or a deep fryer, stick to a few pieces for each batch.
Once the chicken turns golden and crisp, it's done! It should take around 8 to 10 minutes for white meat and 13 to 15 minutes for dark meat to fully cook through. Allow the oil to drain and then place the chicken pieces on some paper towels before serving.
While I was frying up the chicken, I also popped in some instant biscuits (yes, I's cheating!) in the oven. It should be nice and ready by the time we are done with the chicken. How did this recipe turn out? Well, I think it turned out awesome! Nothing beats some spicy southern fried chicken and freshly baked biscuits. I would have to say that this recipe is a keeper. Try it....I think you will like I too!

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