I'm afraid of making fried chicken. Really. I love it, and often enjoy it when others prepare it. But, to make it at home? Nope. I had salmonella as a tot. I don't remember any of it, but, according to my mom, it wasn't pretty. Supposedly, the wonderful sick came from eating undercooked home-fried chicken (not made by my mom). I ended up in the hospital and everything. So the idea of frying my own chicken freaks me out a bit. Especially with my tot at home.
The other day I came across a new foodie idea over at Shine Food - The Shine Supper Club. The first assignment was to tackle cooking something you've always a bit intimidated by but always wanted to try.
I knew I had to tackle fried chicken.
I did some research, checked out a few recipes, and then did a bit of adjusting. Lots of recipes suggested letting the chicken sit overnight in buttermilk - and I just don't have the patience for that. I came up with a short-cut idea that turned out wonderfully tasty and super crispy. And, by using a meat thermometer to check the inner temp, I felt just fine frying away. But, here's the deal. There's no way to healthy-up fried chicken. I tried whole-wheat flour and the coating became really dark and a bit burnt tasting. So just accept that it's going to be fried - and amazingly good.
1 (around) 3 to 4-pound chicken cut into 10 sections (split the breasts)
1 garlic clove chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups vegetable oil
Get out a big bowl and mix together the milk, yogurt, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and rosemary. Toss in your chicken, cutting the breasts through the wide middle, creating two equal sized chunks (not the long-skinny way). Move the chicken around making sure it's nice and covered and then pop in the fridge for at least 30-minutes. Letting that chicken hang out for 2-hours is perfect.
Gather together your dusting ingredients along with a paper bag. Toss the flour, salt, dry mustard, paprika, dried oregano and pepper into the paper bag and give things a shake to distribute.
Now get out the biggest pan you've got. A 12-inch should fit all that chicken easily. But, two smaller sauté pans will work just fine, too. Add the oil to the pan and crank to medium-high heat. You want the oil to be about 325F before adding the chicken.
Add a few pieces of chicken at a time to the paper bag and then shake, shake, shake. Lift out a piece, give another little shake to knock off any extra flour and then slide into that hot oil. Repeat until all the chicken is happily frying.
Set your kitchen timer for 10-minutes and walk away. You can check back to make sure your oil isn't too hot. If you see the edges start to darken after just a minute or two, you can turn the heat down a bit.
Once your timer dings, flip that chicken, set the timer for 10-minutes and let that chicken fry. After about 15-minutes of total cooking time, use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the chicken. For a perfectly piece of fried chicken, you need that meat to be around 165 F. Check the temperature of both a dark and white piece of chicken just to make sure . If your chicken hits 165 F before your timer dings, you're good to go.
Create a nice resting spot for your hot and crispy chicken by stacking several sheets of paper towel. Remove the chicken, place on those paper towels, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let the chicken cool for a minute or two before serving.