Fried chicken is a food that was a luxury when I was growing up. Our family friend Myrt would make it for us a couple of times each Summer. The chicken sizzling in her electric skillet was always so tantalizing. I loved to sneak bits of fried "grits" out of the hot oil to eat. I never got her recipe for chicken so decided to make my own based on what I remembered. The end result tasted similar to her chicken but lacked the perfection that years of experience brought to her chicken. This is a good start and I think I'll keep tweaking the recipe until it seems just right.
Start by soaking the chicken in buttermilk and hot sauce for 24 hours or overnight. Mix the flour with cayenne and salt. Drain the chicken then dredge through the flour mixture.
Gently place the chicken in the piping hot skillet with oil. Cook for about 12 minutes per side or until done. Place chicken on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease.
Isn't that skin gorgeous? Nate ate two whole pieces of chicken and Gabby the skin of two pieces! It was sure tasty but I think I'll keep working on it until I can get it closer to Myrt's. If I have success I will post the updated recipe.
1 (3 pound) fryer or 6 bone-in skin-on thighs
2 c. buttermilk
2 T. hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2 cups canola oil
Refrigerate chicken overnight (at least 8 hours and up to two days) in mixture of buttermilk with hot sauce. (I've heard you can substitute plain yogurt instead of buttermilk but have yet to try this.)
Drain the chicken. In a large plastic bag, mix flour with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Place chicken pieces in bag with flour and shake until thoroughly coated.
Heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium high heat. To test if the oil is ready take a pinch of flour and drop it into the pan. If it immediately sizzles when dropped in the oil is ready. Add chicken to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry for another 10-12 minutes, again until golden brown.
Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease. Add more salt and pepper to taste.