Sometimes you just gotta get back to your roots in the kitchen. My boys especially love it when I begin thinking like this. They know they’ll get some fabulous homemade Southern fare that I ate regularly growing up and they only get as a treat. They get really pumped when that treat is Fried Chicken. Yep, I whip it out a couple of times a year around here. It’s such a labor of love that it just doesn’t happen all that often. When it does, though, you know it’s gonna be good. Since The Husband is away all this week, I thought a Hump Day treat was in order.
Growning up we had this wonderful friend and cook who could make the very best, lightest, juiciest, delicious fried chicken. I can just smell it right now! She had that certain magic touch that when she prepared any fried foods they would have this feather light batter that could just make you sing. I try my very best to immolate her . . . with her secret ingredient, of course. Buttermilk. (it tends to gross me out, especially the memory of my dad drinking it straight from a glass, but it does the trick).
After my dad’s heart attack we began cooking lighter and healthier. That did not mean giving up fried chicken all together, that meant taking the skin off the chicken to fry it. So now, I always do that. I’ve also tried the oven baked way, but I’ve decided if I’m going to serve the boys fried chicken, I might as well make it real. Here’s how I’ve lightened it while still staying true to my roots.
Here’s what you do:
LIGHTER FRIED CHICKEN
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups buttermilk
Dash hot sauce
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
bone in chicken pieces, skinned and cleaned
2 cups canola oil
Remove skin from chicken or purchase skinless pieces. Wash chicken and pat dry. Salt and Pepper chicken pieces and place in a medium to large bowl. Pour buttermilk over chicken to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until ready to prepare.
In a deep heavy-bottomed skillet, (or sometimes I use an electric frying pan) heat the canola oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F.
Sift together flours and paprika and dash of pepper and put in a shallow bowl.
Working in 2 batches, shake off excess buttermilk and put the chicken pieces into flour mixture, coating thoroughly. Carefully add them, in batches, to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on the outside and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on a paper lined sheet tray. Transfer to a baking sheet with a rack and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter to serve.
That’s really all there is to it. I’m not sure why I think it’s such an endeavor, but for me, the process is slow. I like to cook it slow and steady and keep the heat even. Also, if you do not purchase skinless chicken, removing the skin and excess fat is a chore.
But, I’m telling you – it is so worth it! My boys think they have died and gone to heaven and think I am THE BEST mom. At least for about 20 minutes.
If you are wondering about the nutritional info, here is the lowdown.
These numbers are for 2 smaller pieces, but not bad at all!
What foods bring you back to your roots? What foods do you save for those “treat” nights?
Enjoy your Day!