My Mother, and her mother before her, both had a knack for frying chicken; a Sunday dinner favorite. The first time I made fried chicken was when I was in junior high school, and my Home Economics teacher introduced me to buttermilk battered chicken. I was fascinated by the entire process and as my Mother so often did, she let me experiment at home, with what I was learning at school. I remember that chicken, a food I am not normally a huge fan of, being excellent!
Kate has a true fondness for chicken fingers – she loves foods she can dip. Thus recently I decided to try my hand at frying chicken, a skill I had not practiced in a while.
I did not fry boned chicken pieces, which are the most flavorful; rather, as I was cooking for Kate, I used chicken breast, that I cut into three to four pieces.
Harkening back to my Home Economic class, I placed the chicken pieces in milk, to marinate overnight. I generously sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
When I fried them, the next day, Kate thought they were excellent, except that they were not as well done, as she likes – it took me a minute to process her comments – how was the chicken not well done, I wondered? Well, she said, it was so moist; hum, that was intentional, I told her, the reason why I soaked it in milk! There is a difference between food being undercooked, which I would never do with chicken and chicken being cooked thoroughly, but still moist!
Enough Milk to cover the chicken – Buttermilk is best, but any dairy milk will do; if you would like to make “buttermilk” you can add a couple teaspoons of white vinegar to your milk, and let it sit for a few minutes, before putting the chicken in to marinate.
Garlic Powder, two tablespoons
Salt and Pepper to taste – more is better than less
2 Eggs slightly beaten
2 Cups of Flour
Salt and Pepper
Dried Herbs, if desired, however, to me there is an all American purity about fried chicken that calls out to keep it simple, unlike almost everything else that I cook. But you are welcome to add thyme or marjoram to the flour, if you so like.
Vegetable Oil for frying
After you wash the chicken, place it in a shallow dish, and generously sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the pieces, on both front and back.
Fill the dish with enough milk to cover the pieces of chicken. Cover the dish, and place in the refrigerator, at least overnight.
Heat oil; I use an electric skillet, that I place on a patio table, outside, to keep the smells and oil, at bay. I put the skillet to its highest setting; 375 degree works well.
When the oil is ready, remove a piece of chicken from the milk, and dip in the egg, then drop it into the flour, that has already been salted, peppered, and given a good dose of garlic powder. I then return it to the egg dip, and again the flour, before putting it in the hot oil, where I fry it until golden brown and crispy, at least five or six minutes each side, depending on how thick the chicken strips have been cut.
Remove it from the oil, when it is fried, and place on a small stack of paper plates to drain – it is best served hot; but holds up well as room temperature. Enjoy moist, but well done chicken!