I recieved this wonderful book for Christmas from a very dear friend (Thanks Nat!!) and it is by far one of my favorites. If you don't have this book in your cookbook library, you need to get it NOW. I made this fried chicken recipe when we had friends over and their son said that it was the best fried chicken he'd ever had. How's that for a compliment?
Here's what you need:
2 cut up fryer chickens (we just buy the bags of drumsticks from Walmart or Sams...they work just as well!)
1 quart plus 1/4 cup buttermilk
5 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp season-all salt (like Lawry's)
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup milk
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1. Thoroughly rinse chicken and then cover all the pieces with the quart of buttermilk and soak overnight, or up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge and let set for 30 minutes prior to frying to take off the chill.
2. Preheat oven to 350* and mix up the breading: place flour, season-all salt, pepper, thyme, paprika & cayenne in a large bowl and stir together.
3. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup buttermilk and milk. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and, with a pastry cutter or fork, gradually mix until there are little lumps throughout. If needed, add a littlemore flour or milk to make it lumpy.
4. Heat 1.5" of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over med-hi head until a thermometer reads 365*.
5. Working in batches, thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with breading, pressing extra breading onto chicken if necessary. Place breaded chicken on a plate.
6. Add the chicken to the oil 3 or 4 pieces at a time. Make sure they aren't sticking to ether then tover the pan and fry for 5-7 minutes, checking to make sure chicken doesn't get too brown. Turn the pieces over and cook another 3-5 minutes more. Continue to moniter the temp of the oil so the chicken doesn't burn.
7. Place chicken on a baking sheet and continue frying the rest of the chicken in 3-4 piece batches. When all of the chicken has been fried, bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cut into the thickest part of a large piece and if any pink is visible (meat or juice) continue in cooking in the oven until no pink shows.
Serve with your choice of side. I promise you this will be a big hit!