Drew’s Kitchen- Best Fried Chicken

aaaDrewKitchButtonRestOfNewsletterThanksgiving is just around the corner, but maybe a full-blown holiday turkey extravaganza just doesn’t match up with your definition of ‘holiday’.  If you’d like to tackle something smaller, say a few pounds smaller, then Drew has the bird for you!

Southern Living’s (and now Drew’s) Best Fried Chicken


  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
  • 1 chicken with skin, about 2½ lbs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, like grapeseed, peanut, or canola (do not use olive oil)
  • ¼ cup bacon drippings (or more oil)


  • Combine 1 Tbsp salt with 3 quarts water in a large bowl or container. Add chicken; cover, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
  • Stir together remaining 1 tsp salt and the black pepper. Sprinkle half the mixture evenly over chicken.
  • In a large sealable plastic bag, combine remaining pepper mixture and flour. Add 2 pieces chicken to bag and shake well to coat.  Remove chicken pieces, shaking off extra flour, and set aside.  Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Take a large (10-12 inch) cast iron skillet or chicken fryer, for which you have a lid, and fit with a candy or deep-frying thermometer. Add oil and bacon drippings and heat to 360° over medium heat; the oil will ripple and possibly give off a few wisps of smoke.
  • Using tongs, immediately add chicken pieces, skin side down (work in batches if needed to avoid crowding pan). The oil will drop to about 325°, where it should stay; adjust heat so that oil is bubbling gently around the pieces.  Cover and cook 6 minutes; uncover and cook 9 minutes.  Turn chicken pieces; cover and cook 6 minutes.  Uncover and cook another 5-9 minutes, depending on size of pieces.  If necessary for even browning, turn pieces over a few times toward the end.
  • Drain on paper towels or paper bags. Let cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • Note: If chicken is larger than 2½ pounds, use a large heavy knife to cut each breast half in half again, making 10 pieces in total

Time- 1 hour (plus brining time)       Yield- 4 servings

Originally adapted from “The Way to Fry” by Norman King, Oxmoor House, 2013

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