Thursday, August 19, 2010

Perfect Fried Chicken

Okay, Colonel. I'm done with Kentucky Fried I-think-this-is-genetically-engineered Chicken. I was never much of a fan anyway, but there's no need for it now. I've found the perfect recipe. As my husband bit into the other night he exclaimed, "Oh, joy! I have waited for this moment my entire life!" It really is great. It's crispy and flavorful on the outside and juicy and moist on the inside. I would not recommend eating this more than once month since it's fried chicken. Not the best for you. Delicious enough to have a few times a year though. I really think the secret is that it is cooked in lard. Again- this is not a healthy recipe. However, if you want perfect fried chicken once a year, go out on a limb and give this a shot.

Perfect Fried Chicken:

3 chicken breasts
2 pounds lard

1 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t paprika
1/2 t cayenne

egg stuff:
2 eggs
1/4 c canola oil
1 t each paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper
1/2 t salt

Prepare the lard for frying. Put it in a large saucepan and heat over medium until it is melted. You're going to need a candy thermometer for this recipe to maintain consistent heat. Attach the thermometer to the side of the pan.
While the lard is melting, prepare an aluminum foil coil to place on the bottom of the pan. This prevents the chicken from being right against the bottom of the pan and being burnt by the heat. make the coil by pulling off about two feet of foil. Roll it up like you're making a snake and crunch it all together so it holds its shape. Geez. That makes no sense. Look at the picture. :)

While the lard is heating, prepare the chicken. Combine the flour coating by putting all ingredients in a quart size ziplock bag. Shake to mix it up. Prepare the egg dipping stuff. Put all the egg mixture ingredients in a glass pie pan or another shallow bowl/plate. Mix it well. Dip the chicken in the egg. Let the excess egg drip off. Put the chicken into the ziplock bag, seal it, and shake to coat it. Pull it out and place it on a plate until the lard is ready. Do this to all the chicken pieces.

I did two pieces of chicken at a time. When the oil is at 375 degrees, carefully add the chicken. The temperature will shoot up so make sure you are ready to turn down the heat if needs be.

The chicken should fry at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes. I flip it once after about five minutes. When you flip it, it should already be golden and delicious looking. After ten minutes, take the chicken out and place it on a paper towel-lined plate. Flip the chicken to make sure excess oil comes off. Keep it warm on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven while you cook the other pieces.

That is the method to my madness. I served it with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, biscuits, and watermelon, of course. What is a fried chicken dinner without watermelon?!

This recipe was adapted from "It's All American Food" by David Rosengarten. This is an awesome cookbook. It has regional, ethnic, and classic American dishes. I have found some amazing recipes in this book.

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