Homemade Fried Chicken…it’s not as scary as it sounds (Part Two Frying)

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Now that we’ve addressed the brining aspect, I’ll show you how I bread, fry, and bake my chicken. Yep, you read it right, I fry then bake it! This alleviates a common concern for many home cooks which is whether or not they’ve cooked the chicken enough. It also serves another purpose in that the way we bake it allows for the grease to drip off and you end up with crispy NOT greasy chicken…but still with all the flavor of fried chicken! So let’s get started.

For this you’ll need one whole cut-up chicken with the bone-in (preferably already brined as in Part One), about 2 cups flour, salt and pepper, oil/shortening, and approximately 2 cups buttermilk. Just like your grandma used to do it. I’ve tried adding other seasonings in and we just didn’t like it…so maybe grandmas all over the world had it right the first time. Simple is sometimes best!
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Put your buttermilk in one container (a bowl, pie tin, or shallow dish works nicely) and heavily salt and pepper it:
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Do the same with your flour…lots and lots of salt and pepper and mix together with a fork or whisk in a shallow bowl or pie plate!

Next you’ll need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and┬áput a metal cooling rack inside of a sheet pan. This is where you’ll put the chicken when it is done being breaded before it goes into the frying pan.

Also begin preheating your oil in a deep skillet or pan. You’ll need at least an inch or so deep of vegetable, canola, or peanut oil…or Crisco vegetable shortening, whichever you prefer. You want the oil to reach at least halfway up the sides of the chicken while frying to get an even browning effect. I usually turn my burner to a 6 or just above the medium heat setting at this point. The oil will preheat while you bread your chicken for frying.

The order you bread in is extremely important so we start with a thin flour coat. Dip one chicken piece at a time in flour mixture, turning to coat evenly.
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Take the lightly floured piece of chicken and move it to the buttermilk dish, coating completely in buttermilk.
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From the buttermilk, back to the flour for the final flour coating.
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Once your chicken is fully coated in the 2nd layer of flour mixture, you are done with it and you may move the chicken to the cooling rack inside the sheet pan until you have repeated the process with the rest of the chicken pieces.
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Next it’s into the frying pan for your little chicken. You can take one droplet of water and drop into the pan of oil to test if the oil is hot enough. If it is, the water will pop and sizzle, if not, it will just kinda sit there with no reaction. The temperature of the oil is very important and is not to be rushed. Putting fried items into oil that is not yet up to temperature will result in soggy, icky fried items. Never underestimate the power of a properly temped cooking device!

So, into the oil your chicken goes. Carefully place the chicken in. Do not throw or drop the chicken or you could end up with a nasty hot oil splash. Slowly and carefully, place your chicken in the pan of hot oil. Do NOT move the chicken once it is in the oil, you’ll lose breading if it is moved before the breading has crisped up properly.

It should look a little like this…see how the oil is bubbling up the sides of the chicken? That’s what you want to see:
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Leave chicken on the first side for 5-6 minutes, then flip ONCE. Constantly flipping fried items is another big mistake many new fry cooks make. You’ll never get to golden brown and delicious if you flip more than once. So turn the chicken and fry for another 4-6 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the 2nd side.

Remember that cooling rack in the sheet pan from earlier? Now’s the time to grab that. Place the fried chicken on the cooling rack in the sheet pan and pop in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes while you finish up the other details of your dinner.

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Take the chicken out of the oven and serve to a delighted audience! Check out the incredibly moist delicious chicken breast, here. See that glistening? That’s juicy wonderfulness and FLAVOR. It’s definitely worth your time to give chicken frying another chance!
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