I don’t know about elsewhere, but in the South we each have our own favorite piece of fried chicken. For instance, my mom was born in the late 30’s and the youngest of 6 children. Her “favorite” piece of chicken was always the wing (and the neck) because that was all that was left – but she grew to love it long before Buffalo wings became appetizers. My nana loved the back with the Pope’s Nose, as she called it because that was REALLY the last piece left in a family of 8. Do they even package the back now? Growing up, we had around 100 chickens that were “free range”. They laid eggs and we butchered pullets (young chickens) in early summer every year. I learned how to cut up a chicken at about 10 years old. Plucking chickens is no fun! Some people still don’t know how today.
My favorite piece is the thigh although I will eat a leg once in a while or a wing but nothing else and Mr. Picky-eater likes the breast and the wings. So, when I find a big package of thighs or wings on sale I buy them and then I generally repackage them at home. I didn’t last time so today I had to fry 10 thighs and 12 wings. This week, we will have fried chicken salad and chicken tacos with all the leftovers. But right now I’m beat because I fried chicken from 4:30 to 7:00 PM. Chicken takes a long time to get right and Mr. Picky-eater is like a commandant when it comes to cooking chicken and keeping the raw chicken utensils from the cooked chicken yada, yada, yada…. After 7 years, he still comes in periodically while I am cooking it to “make sure I am doing it safely”. He must have had some kind of chicken trauma as a kid. Luckily for me, he sanitizes the kitchen after I cook so I’m sitting in here typing while he is in there scrubbing and bleaching the counter tops – nice!
You will have to start early in the day – here are the ingredients you will need for the marinade/batter:
2 Cups Buttermilk
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Cayenne
1 Tablespoon Durkee Special Sandwich Spread – or Dijon Mustard.
Put the chicken in a Ziploc bag, mush it up and place in the fridge for anywhere from 2 – 8 hours.
Take the chicken out with tongs and place, one piece at a time, in another Ziploc bag with the following:
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbls. Baking Powder
1 Tbls. Garlic powder
1 Tbls. Onion Powder
Then you start frying. Keep your oil between 350-360 F, No higher and no lower – which is very hard to do BTW.
Thighs, especially big ones like these are going to take at least 20 minutes to cook. If you turn the oil higher, the outside will cook but the inside will look like this:
That is not done and bad for you, don’t eat it!
This is what “done” chicken looks like.
Just to make sure, for Mr. Picky-eater’s sake, after frying I put the chicken in a pan covered with foil and bake in over at 350 F for about 20 minutes.
While the chicken was frying, I also made rolls, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and gravy.
Gravy is a complicated dish to me. I will show you how I make what most people call, southern white gravy later in the week. It was a tough afternoon and evening but I’m glad it’s all done. Hope you all had a great weekend – I can’t believe tomorrow is Monday already!