It seems to me people have been enticed away from some of the wonderful things in life. Case in point….Southern Fried Chicken.
Want to know what happened to it? A little pudgy guy with a white beard and a knowledge of advertising, knew people will buy anything that's new and different. So he put 11 herbs and spices in his batter. Every chef on TV has some kind of a twist to make their fried chicken different.
I hear so many people say "You just don't get good fried chicken like we used to get". That's because the art of making good fried chicken hasn't been passed down to the kids. It's easier to go buy fast food.
Pastors or visiting evangelists in the South used to get invited to one of the church families for lunch every Sunday. All the southern ladies were very proud of their fried chicken and would fix it anytime they had company. If a visiting minister was holding a revival (and some of the revivals would last up to two weeks) they would be invited to a different household each night. It was somewhat of a joke among them about never getting to eat anything except fried chicken.
Am I the only one who has noticed chicken has a strong obnoxious taste the last few years? They're using chemicals and hormones to produce these oversized chickens. The chickens grow huge so fast the growers have to pick up a bunch of dead chickens every day that have had heart attacks. They're easy to spot because they're all laying on their backs dead.
I always prefer to fry a smaller chicken, but it's hard to find one under 4 pounds anymore. Anytime you buy those packages of nothing but breasts, or thighs or leg quarters, the pieces are huge. I'd rather cut up my own chicken, but that's up to you.
Here's how you can make the true southern fried chicken or a good chicken-fried steak, now known as country fried because it's not "chicken fried" anymore.
SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
2 - 3 eggs
Oil for frying
Six to eight hours before you want to make the chicken:
Heavily salt all pieces of the chicken. (Don't be afraid you're going to get it too salty.) Pepper at this time also. Place chicken into a large zip lock bag and refrigerate immediately. If you don't have a bag, put chicken in a glass bowl and cover well. This process accomplishes two things. It will help remove that strong taste and also season your chicken. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. You can actually refrigerate overnight, but I prefer 6 to 7 hours.
Put 3 to 4 cups of flour in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon black pepper. Mix pepper into flour.
If you have a whole chicken you're going to fry:
Put 3 eggs into a bowl and whip them with a fork. I just throw in some water, but probably 1/4 cup is good. Beat water and eggs together.
You now have 2 options, deep frying or pan frying. I prefer the pan frying because I can then make gravy in the same pan when the chicken is done. Deep frying is quicker. Just fry until the chicken floats and is a deep golden brown.
Put about an inch of oil in pan and heat it on medium high until it's good and hot but not smoking. Flick a little flour into grease to make sure it's hot.
Starting with larger dark meat pieces, dip into egg and then into flour, and put into oil. (dark meat takes longer than white meat). Repeat until all chicken is in skillet. You want to hear it sizzle when the chicken hits the oil. Immediately drop temperature to a little over medium. (If you use a thermometer, keep it about 350 degrees) DO NOT COVER PAN!
Check chicken in 20 minutes. It will probably be another 10 minutes before you have to turn them. Turn pieces over when they become a dark golden brown. When they are brown on that side, remove. Drumsticks will need to be removed first. If there's any red oozing out of the top of any pieces, Turn them back over and leave them a few minutes longer. When you remove from oil, drain pieces well on either paper or in a strainer.
CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
Steak that has been tenderized at the store
2 Eggs whipped with about 1/8 cup of water
1/2 inch of Oil in skillet
Use EXACTLY the same process to chicken fry a steak, except don't salt it quite as heavily and only leave it in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
After you lower the heat, you'll only have to fry until the coating has turned golden brown then turn. This is much faster than frying chicken, so be careful not to burn it.
Chicken fried ANYTHING should always be served with a cream gravy. After frying the chicken or the steak, pour out the oil you fried in, leaving only enough to make the gravy. Don't pour out the goodies left in the pan from frying the meat. That's what will make the gravy excellent.
Gravy recipes are in a previous blog!