Thanksgiving 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