This Southern Fried Chicken recipe is as close to that original "11 secret herbs and spices" recipe as I have ever gotten. The result is fabulous, crispy and very flavorful. If you love deep-fried chicken cold the next day, this recipe is especially good. I've even made batches a day in advance of a picnic or road trip.
Combine all ingredients for coating mix in a large freezer bag, zip up tight with a little air in it, shake it so that all the ingredients are well mixed, then allow to sit for 24 hours or more. We want the essences from all the spices to permeate the flour really well. The longer the better. I let mine sit for 2 or 3 days if I can.
Your chicken pieces should be already cut up. Cut breast halves in half again across the width of the breast making two equal size pieces. Trim excess skin from thigh pieces. Cut tails off wings.
NOTE: Wings should be either cooked separately, or placed on top so they can be removed early, they cook through sooner than the rest of the chicken.
Bring the oil in your deep fryer or pot of oil up to 350F, no hotter.
Combine milk and eggs and whisk together in another bowl really well for the wash.
Lightly dust all pieces of chicken with the coating. Now dip each piece of chicken into the wash and slosh it around a bit to make sure it's well covered, then put each piece into the coating mix again. Douse the top of the chicken with some of the mix, then pat and flip over. Repeat. Now tap the chicken to remove excess mix. Put it back in the flour, douse, pat, flip and pat one more time, pressing the chicken piece into the mix well, making sure it's good and covered. Tap again and place on a plate. You want the flour to set on the chicken for 15 minutes before cooking.
Once your oil is up to temp, you can begin cooking the chicken. Separate the chicken into your batches. Keep them small, we you do not want to crowd your chicken in the basket or pot. Take each piece of chicken in your first batch and douse it one more time on the flour mixture, this will freshen up the coating. When your batch is doused, lower pieces into the oil carefully.
Do not crowd your chicken. It will lower the oil temp too low. You want the oil to drop to about 325 once the chicken is in.
Cooking time depends on the size of your chicken pieces. You don't want the pieces too big or you'll have to cook them too long and burn the coating.
Breast, drumstick and thigh pieces, about 15 minutes
Wings, about 10 minutes. Note, chicken is done when it floats, check to ensure it’s 165F.
Cooked chicken pieces should be a nice golden brown but not overly so.
Continue cooking chicken in batches, dousing each batch into the flour mixture before cooking.
TO MAKE CHICKEN FINGERS
You can use the coating to make chicken fingers easily, it just takes a little extra care and work.
You may want to consider reducing the black pepper and white pepper by half when doing strips, they come out spicier because of the double dip.
First, use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Pound them out until they are about 1/2 inch thick, and trim off the excess messy bits. Then slice breasts to form strips about 1.5 inches wide, about 2 or 3 from each breast.
Douse each piece in flour mixture, shake off excess, then dip into the egg wash. Then douse it well in the the coating again, shake excess off. Now, dip it into the wash again, let it drip for a second or two, then back into the coating. Now douse it and pat it a couple times until it picks up a good covering of the coating. Plate pieces as they are prepped, and when you have them all done, cover them loosely and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will help the coating stay on the strips while cooking.
Drop in batches into 350F oil for about 8 minutes, or until the coating is nice and golden brown and the strips begin to float around a bit. Don't overcook or they will be dry. Oil will drop to 325F once chicken is added. Bring temp back up to 350 between batches.
TO MAKE POPCORN CHICKEN
Same as above, just cut the chicken into bite size pieces, double dip and refrigerate after coating to help it stick, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until pieces are golden and floaty.
And that's it. No need to bother the Colonel any more. :)
Don't overfill the basket with chicken. If you do this the oil will drop in temperature and cause the chicken to be uncooked on the inside. You're better off separating the chicken into 2 batches. What I do is buy 2 breast halves and 2 legs that make up 8 pieces when cut up, and buy 8 - 10 wings. This makes 2 batches nicely. Do not leave out the MSG, rice flour or starch. They are all central to establishing good crunch and umami. If you're forced to remove the rice flour, add 1/2 cup more of AP flour.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (180g)|
|Recipe Makes: 8 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 49 (14%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 5.4g||7 %|
|Saturated Fat 1.6g||8 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 1.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 1g|
|Cholesterol 177.7mg||55 %|
|Sodium 744.8mg||26 %|
|Potassium 218.2mg||6 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 65.1g||19 %|
|Dietary Fiber 3.8g||15 %|
|Sugars, other 61.3g|
|Protein 12.2g||17 %|
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Calories per serving: 358
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