Back in the days, I was famous for my fried chicken. I was pregnant with our first child and I fried chicken all summer long for picnics, trips to the lake, or just meals at home. I was on a fried chicken binge and was rather good at it. I also gained a record amount of weight during that pregnancy, I’m thinking the fried chicken was part of that. Eventually I moved on to other meats and actually lost my fried chicken recipe. Drat!
This summer we’ve been visiting a lake cabin and my mind returned to those summer days long ago with cold fried chicken in our picnic lunches. I looked high and low and couldn’t find the recipe. 30 some years later I sure don’t remember the recipe. So I went in search of a replacement and found there are roughly 2 gazillion recipes for fried chicken. Seriously.
I found a recipe on Taste of Home. I used their recipe and was pretty happy with the results. I wasn’t happy with the results to my new oven. I made what was probably an amateur mistake but I hadn’t oven fried chicken before. That’s my excuse. That and the recipe said to store them on a rack to keep them crisp.
I put the chicken pieces on a rack over a sheet pan in the oven as they were browned, to finish them off. Grease spattered EVERYWHERE and I now need to clean the oven. It’s self-cleaning but I need to find a time I’m around to watch it. Just in case. I had no idea grease would spatter like that off of the fried chicken. Ya live, ya learn!
So I did soak the chicken in buttermilk. I’ve seen a lot of southerners do that and claim it’s a southern thing. It must be; we don’t soak our chicken here up North. But I wanted to see how that worked out for flavor and such. I let them soak in the container for a couple of hours.
I mixed the flour and seasonings in a container for dipping and let most of the buttermilk drip off of the pieces before I dredged them in the seasoned flour.
As the pieces were coated I placed them on a platter and let them rest for 15 minutes, per directions. This was to help the coating adhere better.
I heated 1/2″ of oil in a large nonstick skillet and placed 4-5 pieces at time in the oil. When they were browned on one side I flipped them. After browning on the second side I put them on the rack on the sheet pan I mentioned previously. I’m not sure how I’ll prevent that spattering in the future, I’ll need to work on that. I don’t want to clean my oven weekly.
When the chicken was cooked through and the juices were clear, I let the pan sit on the counter so the chicken could cool to room temperature. I placed the pieces in a container with a cover and transported them to the picnic the next day.
Were they crispy? Yeah, they were a little crunchy yet. Not KFC extra crispy style crunchy, but passable. The flavor was good, the blend of spices was just right. I’d use this recipe again but as noted, will find a way to keep my oven from becoming a disaster area. I’m thinking I’ll use a deep fryer and completely fry the chicken, skipping the oven part. Will update the post when I have a solution!
Picnic Fried Chicken
- 3# chicken; cut into pieces
- 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- Oil for frying
Combine flour and seasonings in a shallow container and mix well. Dip pieces and coat, one at a time, laying on a platter when coated. Let sit for 15 minutes to encourage coating to cling well.
Heat 1/2″ of oil in a skillet and place a few pieces at a time in the hot oil. Fry for 7-8 minutes per side until browned. Place on a rack on a sheet pan in the oven to finish off. Meat should no longer be pink and juices should be clear.
Cool on the counter then refrigerate in a covered container until eaten.
Adapted from Taste of Home