Well y’all, Fourth of July is tomorrow. Time sure has flied by this year. Ups and downs, with lots of good things as well as difficult. I figured in order to celebrate this American holiday with some classic Southern fried chicken.
Fried chicken as well as chicken fried steak are two things that speak very close to my inner child. These are things from my childhood that I ate because I grew up in a mostly southern family. Another one of my bigger inspirations for this recipe would be my Grandmother, whom recently passed away a few days ago. I want to dedicate this recipe to her. I know it’s something that she would have loved and respected. She was a great woman and passed down many a recipe to my mother and I.
This fried chicken is made with a classic buttermilk base and then a simple salt and pepper dredge. Nothing too fancy or spiced up, although you could add any spices you like into the flour dredge if you’re into that. I might do that with the next batch. The thing I liked about this chicken being less spiced up meant that there was more room for dressings and sides. You can dip this chicken in anything or toss it in any sauce if you were to desire that.
- 1 whole 3 to 3½lb chicken cut into 8 pieces (2 wings, 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs) *see notes for using two or more chickens*
- 3½ cups all purpose flour or all purpose gluten free flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (you can reduce this to a half teaspoon if you want less peppery flavor)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard.
- In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients for the buttermilk dredge. Add you cut up chicken pieces, lightly mix, and keep submerged. You can place this back in the fridge and marinate it for 1 hour or up to overnight or you can go ahead and just use it right away and skip the marinating all together.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pot of with 2-3 inches of oil to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Try and maintain this temp throughout the frying process. I used a candy thermometer to measure this temp, which you can buy at a grocery store for about $4.00. Make sure not to overfill your pot here. If it over flows, big danger. My oil only went up about halfway in my pot.
- Set up your dredging station by adding all of your ingredients for your flour dredge into a large bowl. Whisk those ingredients together until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add 1 piece or 4 pieces of chicken at a time (whatever is most comfortable) and toss them in the flour dredge to thoroughly coat. Make sure to get the dredge under the skin and in the meat crevices. Press the flour firmly into the chicken to ensure there are no wet patches and that it is totally dry with flour. This is how you keep the skin crispy. As you finish dredging chicken just place the finished pieces of chicken onto a baking tray.
- Once chicken is dredged carefully place the a chicken in the frying oil, do not overcrowd the pan and make sure the chicken is frying in an even layer, no chicken on top of another. You may have to do this in batches. Fry for 7-15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. The chicken should be golden brown and should read 165 degrees fahrenheit for an internal temperature.
- Let cool on a wire rack fitted above a tray to catch the drippings. Cool it to an edible temperature because these suckers are hot! Enjoy with whatever other festivities you have, serve with a sauce if you fancy, lots of pickles, radishes, lemons, you name it!