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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Home Style Southern Fried Chicken.

Chicken with home-made dirty rice. I was feeling my inner Bojangles.

Fried chicken. I love it. It's probably one of the most popular meals in North America. Everyone has their own recipes and methods for making it, and they all stand by it. My recipe? It's taken a long time to get it to the way it comes out now - crispy, juicy, and deep with flavor. I also use a deep fryer at 375°. You may prefer to use a pan or air fryer. This will work with a pan (preferably cast iron) but you will probably have to finish it in the oven. Never tried an air fryer, but because it's double dredged, not sure how it'll turn out. If it works for you, let me know.

 Are all the ingredients conventional? No.But they all work together. I'm sure you will agree. 

You will need (for a club pack of chicken parts or one prepared bird):

First dredge:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika

1-2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water

Primary dredge:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup biscuit (such as Bisquick) mix
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular paprika, if you don't have smoked)
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. crushed rosemary (mortar and pestle or spice grinder will work)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 packet onion soup mix
1 tbsp. either Montreal Chicken seasoning or Spicy Pepper Medley
1 tsp. or to taste cayenne*  - optional

For frying - canola oil

(*if you're looking for a flavor something like Bojangles or Popeye's.)

Dredges and wash lined up assembly line style.
Mix the dredges and wash in their own respective bowls. Set up a line to load the fryer. With the primary dredge, only put about half into the line bowl at first, as you may not need it all and can save it for the next batch. Heat up the oil and lower the basket (the chicken tends to stick to the wire otherwise.)

The ol' beast... oil is heating up.
Dredge the chicken in the first dredge, cover it with wash, and then through the final dredge. Ease each piece into the hot oil. Don't overload the batch - it'll drive the oil temperature down and could make the skin greasy and prevent it from crisping up.

First batch out of the fryer!
There's debate over determining when chicken is done. My general rule is: if it's floating, let it go for another minute or two, then rack it and drain it. Put your oven on warm and continue until all your batches are complete. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

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