Do you like fried chicken? I sure do! But, I really love home fried chicken!
Not only do I like working on computers, but I also love to cook! One of my favorite things to cook is, fried chicken. There are several ways you can make it at home, and I am definitely no expert. But yesterday I made some, deep fried.
Below is my recipe for “extra crispy style” home cooked, deep fried chicken. It’s not a quick and easy recipe to follow and a bit long of a read. But, it turned out so good that I thought I would try and write it up, so I could share it with others. And, I wanted to try to cover as many details that I could. Once you get it down though, it gets easier. Feel free to adjust it as you like!
What You Will Need
- 4 to 6 hrs for marination.
- A large mixing bowl (2 qt).
- 4 TBS of regular table salt.
- 1 Cup of hot water.
- 2 or 3 trays of ice cubes or equivalent in crushed ice.
- About 2 cups of cold water.
A sharp butcher knife or boning knife, and a cutting board (if you want to cut up the chicken yourself) .
1 whole fryer size chicken, probably around 3 lbs or less, cut up into 8 or 9 pieces. A roasting chicken is too large. See the video below on how to do it yourself.
- 3 or 4 cups of all purpose flour, or more as needed.
- 2 large containers, 1 for dusting the chicken with flour and 1 for breading the chicken.
- 2 TBS of Season Salt.
- 3 tsp Pepper.
- 2 tsp Paprika.
- 1 & 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder.
- 3 eggs (for egg wash)
- 2 cups of milk (for egg wash)
A home electric deep fryer (I use a Presto 06006 Kitchen Kettle Multi-Cooker/Steamer).
If you don’t have an electric deep fryer, you can probably use a large heavy bottom fry pot, dutch oven or cast iron pot on the stove. But you will need to monitor the heat (300 to 325°) with some kind of cooking thermometer, as you can burn the breading easily before the chicken is done. And, it needs to be large enough to cook 2 or 3 pieces of chicken at a time. Here is an article with some handy tips for deep frying, that might help.
Or you can use peanut oil. I have never tried peanut oil for fried chicken because it is more expensive, but some say it makes it taste better and the oil lasts longer.
You will need enough to cover the chicken and be able to rotate it around in the oil, as it fry’s. Most instructions for electric deep fryers say to fill oil to fill line on the fryer.
And, a Meat Thermometer.
I have fried chicken enough as a fry cook in restaurants, to be able to tell when it’s done. But, when in doubt, I use a meat thermometer. The internal temp of fried chicken, should be at 165° when done, and juices run clear with no pink. Nothing wrong with using a thermometer, to just be on the safe side!
How to Cut Up the Chicken
Please be careful with the knife! I highly recommend asking your butcher or meat market clerk to do it for you, if you are not confident in cutting it up yourself. Ask for a 10 piece cut if possible, this will give you 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 breasts, the keel (breast bone) and the back (you can save the back to make chicken stock for soups). Hopefully they know what they’re doing. It’s getting harder to find someone who can still do this, these days! Especially in the big box stores like Walmart!
If you want to do it yourself. Here is a video of a basic way to cut up a chicken, where part of the keel and rib bones are removed from the breast, so it fits in the fryer a little easier. Sometimes I just split the breasts, or I cut the keel out to have 3 piece’s of white meat, depending on how big my chicken is. But, I leave my wings whole, and in the video, she parts them. It takes a little patience! I made a video too, but it’s not very good!
Set your cut up chicken in the fridge until ready for to be added to the brine.
Making the Brine
In the large mixing bowl, add the 4 TBS of salt and cup of hot water, and whisk to dissolve the salt.
Add the 2 or 3 trays of ice cubes or crushed ice to the mixing bowl and stir it around to cool off the water real good (check to make sure, all water is completely cold). Then add your chicken pieces to the bowl and add more water (about 2 cups) to cover chicken so that it’s kind of floating in the bowl, so you have a little room to stir it around once in a while.
Set the bowl in the fridge for around 4 to 6 hrs to marinate. Kind of stir the chicken pieces up once in while.
Alternatively, you can brine your chicken in a gallon size ziplock freezer bag. Mix your salt and hot water in a small bowl, cool it down with ice and then pour it over the chicken in the bag. Add more ice and cold water to cover chicken and then seal the bag. Then once in a while, shake the bag up lightly to move the pieces around in it. But be sure to set the bag in something to put in the fridge, just in case the bag leaks.
Getting It Ready
When your chicken is done marinating in the brine, you will need to drain the chicken.
Then put about 1 or 2 cups of flour in whatever container you are using to flour dust the chicken. And about 1 to 2 cups of flour in whatever container you are using to bread the chicken in. Then add all your seasoning to the container for the breading flour. With a dry whisk, mix all the seasoning and flour for breading together very well, and set aside (just to be clear, you will have one container with the plain flour and 1 container with the seasoned flour).\
Get a container big enough to fit the biggest piece of chicken you have and enough room for the egg mixture. Beat the 3 eggs in the container and then add the 2 cups of milk. Then beat the mixture together until well mixed.
Heat the Oil
Add your oil to the fryer and heat to 300 to 325°. I know most recommendations are for 350°, but it seems the breading darkens too fast at this temp in my fryer. You can check if the oil is ready, by getting a pinch of flour and sprinkling it in the fryer, and if it sizzles a lot right away, it’s ready. Some fryers have a light that will go on or off when it’s ready. Mine just stays on. So sometimes I test it with a small cut piece of the chicken and if it starts frying right away, it’s ready.
Breading the Chicken
Here is a video of how I bread the chicken.
Toss a couple of pieces in the plain flour to coat it. Shake off excess flour. Then dip the pieces in your egg wash and let it drip off or shake off excess. Then put the pieces in the seasoned flour. Mix pieces in the flour to coat well. Press the pieces down into the flour and then mix around again, about 3 or 4 times. Shake off excess flour and then slowly drop pieces into the fryer. Be sure and leave room for rotating piece in the oil. Only bread and fry a few pieces at a time. The pieces that you don’t bread, store back in the fridge, until needed.
If you notice your flour getting really clumpy, sift it and add more flour. I sometimes dump it and start over with fresh flour and seasoning, using same amounts as listed.
Frying the Chicken
Set a timer for about 12 – 14 minutes. Smaller pieces and white meat might take less time. Larger dark pieces may take more time. When done, pieces will float, and sizzling will be very light in sound. Remove pieces and use your meat thermometer inserted into a thick meaty piece of chicken, to check for done-ness. It should be at 165°. If unsure, cut into a thick piece and it should be white all the way through, with clear juices and no pink. Drain pieces on a plate lined with a few paper towels or on a wire rack set on a baking sheet pan. I put mine in my oven on warm or on a very low temp (150°), until it’s all done and ready to eat.
Eating the Chicken
We like to serve our fried chicken with sides of mashed potatoes, green beans and cream gravy! YUM! I also made some extra buffalo style wings to go with it, because one of the kids doesn’t like fried chicken so much.
Well, that is about it. I know it’s a long recipe! Hope it works for somebody!