If you're looking for a yummy treat, here's a good southern fried chicken recipe. It uses simple, tasty spices that you're likely to have on hand in your kitchen pretty much anytime, a definite bonus.
Making southern fried chicken can be a bit tricky. If you follow this recipe, you shouldn't have any problems, but if you want a more in-depth look, check out our two-part article on frying chicken.
It's got a whole bunch of extra tips and tricks that can really help out.
And now for the southern fried chicken recipe!
(Optional) If desired, brine the chicken pieces for about an hour.
Pat the chicken pieces dry.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Dip each piece of chicken in the milk, and let any excess drip off, then dredge it through the flour mixture. Gently shake it to remove any excess flour. Repeat for each piece of chicken until they're all coated.
Let the excess milk drip off, don't shake it off. It'll help the breading stick more evenly.
In a cast-iron skillet, heat half an inch to an inch of oil to 350F. The oil should reach halfway up the chicken when you place it in the pan.
The skillet should be deep enough so that oil doesn't reach more than halfway up, even after you add the chicken pieces. This'll avoid oil splashing out and causing burns and fires.
Gently add the chicken pieces to the skillet skin side down, being careful not to disturb the breading too much.
Never plop the chicken in or toss it. That can cause very hot oil to splash and that's never good.
Don't crowd the chicken, or it won't cook evenly. The pieces shouldn't really be touching.
Cook the chicken on one side until the bottom is golden and blood starts to seep up at the top.
This'll take about 15 minutes for dark meat, a bit less for white meat and wings.
Carefully flip the chicken over, and cook the other side until the chicken has an internal temperature of 165F.
It won't take quite as long as the first side.
Let the chicken rest on a wire rack. It'll allow the grease to drip off the chicken and the juices inside to redistribute evenly. Plus, it'll let it cool down so that it won't burn you when you eat it!
If no one likes the wings or backs, you can save them to make an awesome homemade chicken stock.
This southern fried chicken recipe uses milk for dipping, but you can also soak it in the milk for several hours, or use any other number of liquids, like buttermilk or an egg wash. Check out our chicken breading article for some more ideas.
This recipe can definitely be tweaked. You can add any seasoning you like to the mix, and you can even season the milk and the chicken before dipping.
It's important that the oil be hot when you first put the chicken in. If it isn't, the breading will end up soggy instead of crisp. So if you have to cook your chicken in batches, be sure to let the oil heat back up before putting in a second batch.
If you have to cook the chicken in batches, cook the white meat together and the dark meat together. It'll be way easier to manage the cooking time. You can even double the recipe if you have a really big skillet.
Be very careful. You're dealing with very hot oil, and splashes can be dangerous and cause burns or grease fires.
Never leave the chicken unattended. The oil is very hot and could cause accidents, but the chicken could also go from perfect to overcooked pretty quickly.