Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fried Chicken

by" Ree Drummond " The Pioneer Woman"

1 fryer (or 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1 quart plus 1/4 cup buttermilk*
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste (optional)
1/4 cup milk
Canola or vegetable or whatever oil you use for deep frying

Thoroughly rinse the chicken, then cover all the pieces with the quart of buttermilk and soak in the fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours.  When you're ready to fry the chicken, remove the container with the chicken from the fridge and let is sit on the counter for 30 minutes to take off the chill.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and mix up the breading:  Place the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, paprika and cayenne in a very large bowl.  Stir together well.

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup buttermilk and the milk.  Pour the milk mixture into the flour and with a pastry cutter or fork, gradually mix until there are little lumps throughout.  This will adhere to the chicken and make for a crispier breading.  If necessary, add a little more flour or milk to the bowl in order to make it slightly lumpy.  Heat 1 1/2" of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a thermometer reaches 365 degrees F.  Lower the heat slightly, if necessary, to keep the oil from getting hotter.

Working in batches, thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with the breading, pressing extra breading onto the chicken if necessary.  Place the breaded pieces on a plate.

Add the chicken to the oil 3 or 4 pieces at a time.  Make sure they aren't sticking together, then cover the pan and fry for 5 to 7 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the chicken isn't getting too brown.  Turn the pieces over, cover again, and cook 3 to 5 minutes more.  All the while, monitor the temperature of the oil to make sure the chicken doesn't burn.  Keep in mind that we'll finish cooking the chicken in the oven, and it will continue to brown.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet and continue frying the rest of the chicken.

When all the chicken has been fried, bake the chicken for 15 minutes, to finish the cooking process.  Cut into the thicker part of one of the larger pieces, just to make sure the chicken is cooked through.  If any pink (juice or meat) is visible, the chicken needs to continue cooking in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

I haven't cooked anything "new" in two weeks.  Fried chicken sounded good to make on a Sunday after a busy Friday and Saturday of babysitting, hair styling and more babysitting.  My hubby thought Fried Chicken sounded good too.  I like making him happy through his tummy :)  Well, the first thing that I didn't do was have the chicken marinate overnight in the buttermilk.  Had I read the recipe yesterday then maybe I would have so I'm really curious as to what kind of difference it would have made because the chicken came out really, really good.  I also didn't have *buttermilk so I followed her advice on how to make your own.  All you do is add 1 tbsp. of distilled white vinegar to 1 cup of low-fat milk.  This recipe asked for 1 quart (4 cups) of buttermilk so since I didn't have it, I added 4 tbsps. of the vinegar to the milk and stirred it well.  The seasoning in the chicken was perfect especially with it being homemade.  It was also just the right texture of crispiness since I don't like my chicken too crispy.  All in all a very good recipe for chicken, hubby really loved it, simple to make and I can't wait to make it again but will make sure I will marinate it overnight and I will also use real buttermilk, scouts honor!! ~isavortheweekend

Football season is almost, almost over.  We have one game left and I feel like listening to Dr. Falwell's "Never Give Up" sermon,  'nuff said.

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