15 January 2012

Perfect Fried Chicken

I've been trying for a while to find a fried chicken recipe that works for me, with mixed results - until now. The solution came from the fantastic Bill Neal's Southern Cooking - every recipe I've used out of there is fantastic - and a slightly modified version follows below.


  • 1 chicken (3-4 lbs.), cut into 9 pieces [I used four thighs and four drumsticks, instead]
  • 1 c. buttermilk [no buttermilk available - I used 1 c. whole milk with 1 tbs. lemon juice, let it sit for 5 min. to curdle]
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper [I also added 1 tsp. red pepper]
  • 1 c. lard [yes - this is important. Duck fat or schmaltz can also do][see also more on LARD]
  • 1 1/2 c. peanut oil [I used corn oil instead]


  1. Put the chicken pieces in a glass or stainless steel bowl and toss with the buttermilk - marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours [next time I may also add 1 tbsp. hot sauce to the buttermilk for spicier chicken]
  2. Combine flour, salt and pepper(s) in a large paper bag
  3. Preheat lard and oil in deep cast iron skillet on medium-high heat to 375F (190C)
  4. Drop the chicken pieces into the paper bag, shaking well to coat evenly with the seasoned flour
  5. Add dark meat pieces to the skillet first, skin side down, followed by white meat pieces
  6. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and fry for 15 min.
  7. Remove cover, turn each piece, and fry for another 10-15 min.
  8. Remove chicken and let drain in a second paper bag
  9. Serve and enjoy! (preferably with biscuits and greens)