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How to Make Southern Fried Chicken
My grandmother always made the best fried chicken. At some point my dad video taped her making it and we wrote down the recipe. Now I can make her Southern Fried Chicken myself and think of her when I eat it.
Chicken (I use tenderloins, because then we get lots of crispy)
After trimming any fat off the chicken, you will need to soak the chicken in buttermilk for 30 minutes or so. To save on milk I filled my bowl halfway and then turned the chicken every few minutes to coat all the pieces. While the chicken is soaking, fill a bowl with flour and salt and pepper to taste. I use a little bit of salt and a lot of cracked pepper. I would love to add paprika to this and make it a little spicier, but my kids would have a fit, so I have never tried it.
Once the chicken is done soaking you need to dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and lay on a plate. At this point you should start heating your oil as well. I use a large pan and cover the bottom with about an inch of canola oil. Once you have dredged all the chicken once, you want to do it again. Quickly dunk the chicken back into the buttermilk and then into the flour and coat thoroughly. Dredging it two times is the key to lots of crispy stuff.
Now it is time to fry the chicken. With tongs, lay out the chicken into the hot oil carefully. Try to make sure the pieces don't touch each other or they will stick together, making it hard to flip over. As for how long to fry them, it really depends on how hot you have the oil (I heat the oil on high and as soon as I put the chicken in I turn it down to medium) and how brown you want your chicken. For me it typically takes about 6 minutes for each side. You do want to watch it carefully though, as it can get too brown quickly, especially towards the end of cooking. I used three pounds of tenderloins and it took three batches in my pan and by the end, the chicken was cooking very fast.
Once the chicken is cooked remove it from the oil with tongs and lay flat on a plate with paper towels to drain. Let cool for a few minutes before eating, if you can wait that long. We also like fried chicken cold and it is great to take on picnics. In fact, I cooked this chicken up tonight to take to the baseball game tomorrow night. Yes, I know this Southern Fried Chicken is not healthy, but it is oh so good!