Monday, July 9, 2012

Southern Fried Fourth

Last week for the 4th my friends and I made way too much good food which lured us into an early food coma.  For my part, I made buttermilk fried chicken.  While the thought of frying chicken can seem intimidating, the recipe I use is actually very easy to follow and produces perfectly moist chicken every time.

The most important part of the chicken frying process is brining.  Brining involves soaking meat in water with salt in order to marinate it.  For buttermilk fried chicken this means soaking raw chicken in buttermilk and kosher salt.  It's suggested to brine your chicken for 2-4 hours, but I like do it for as long as possible.  The longer it's brining, the more flavor you'll get.  I brine the night before, but even the morning of would be good.


  • 3 cups of buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I add this if I want a to make a spicy batch of chicken)

  • For brine, in a resealable plastic bag, combine 3 cups of buttermilk with kosher salt and sugar.  Add all chicken pieces to the brine and seal bag.  Chill for 2 to 4 hours.  When ready to fry, remove from brine, drain chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Discard brine.

  • In a large bowl combine flour, salt and pepper (and cayenne pepper if desired).  Place the 3/4 cup of buttermilk in a shallow dish.  Coat chicken with flour mixture then dip in buttermilk before coating again with flour mixture.  

  • Meanwhile, in a deep, heavy pot or deep-fat fryer, heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees.  Using tongs, carefully add a few pieces of chicken to the hot oil.  Fry chicken for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees for breast, 180 degrees for thighs and drumsticks) and coating is golden, turning once.  Drain on paper towels.  If desired, keep fired chicken warm in a preheated 300 degree oven while frying remaining chicken pieces.  Do not fill the pot up too full with chicken.  Cook in batches.

Southern Fried Chicken! So delicious!

Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens New CookBook 15th Edition

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