Southern Fried Chicken
This classic southern recipe calls for dipping the chicken in a bath of buttermilk before frying.
Batter: combine first 5 ingredients in a paper bag. Dip chicken pieces into buttermilk, drop into flour mixture in bag and shake to coat each piece. Set chicken on a rack for 15 minutes to allow batter to adhere before frying.*
Frying: in a deep skillet, heat oil to 375. Carefully drop in coated chicken pieces, in batches. Fry, turning once or twice, till golden brown, about 15 min. Reduce heat to 350 and fry another 10-15 minutes till cooked through. Drain on paper towels and serve.
* You can also bake the chicken to avoid frying in fat. Spray batter-coated chicken pieces with oil, place on a well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 425 for 30-35 minutes. Turn once to brown both sides.
Tips & Glossary
Basic southern cuisine differs from its Cajun, Creole, and Southwestern cousins in its lack of hot spices. As a result, it's rich but mild—the ultimate in comfort food!
• Crabmeat: meat from the body, legs or claws of numerous varieties of crab. Most prized is jumbo lump from the hind leg. But for crab cakes and casseroles, use regular lump, as well as finback from the body. Claw meat is brown and stronger flavored, though also good for crab recipes. Buy it fresh if you can.
• Greens: a staple in Southern cooking, they're in the cabbage family and include kale, collards, turnip, spinach, and mustard greens. Usually served with black-eyed peas and cornbread to sop up the pot likker.
• Grits: another staple of Southern cooking: coarsely ground corn, cooked as porridge. Once cooked, grits are served plain, baked in a casserole, fried or deep-fried as a fritter. (Think polenta.)
• Pie Crust: store bought crusts are fine. But for the skilled (or more daring) among you, make your own. Here's our recipe—Noel's Pie Crust.
• Yams: a type of sweet potato with an elongated shape and deep orange flesh. A true yam is grown in Africa and Asia is actually quite different from what Americans call yams.
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