Buttermilk Fried Chicken

August 13th, 2011
by: Sue

Buy the freshest most naturally raised chicken you can find. Organic, free range, are preferred. Buddy’s chicken in Texas is a large commercial source but if you can’t find Buddy’s try to find a local source for chicken. Wherever you get the chicken, rinse it carefully after you take it out of the packaging, and wash your hands before, during, and after handling the chicken.

Home fried chicken is so much better than anything you can buy.

Start with:

1 large frying chicken, removed from packing and washed with running water

Cut into frying pieces, reserving the bony pieces to make stock.
Place pieces you’ll fry into a large bowl, cover with water, and add 2-3 tablespoons salt. Soak the chicken in the briny water for around 30 minutes. The brining step will result in tender juicy chicken with a good flavor. Drain water off the chicken, rinse again, and dry with paper towels. Put pieces back in bowl, and pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk over the chicken. If you like spicy chicken, add cayenne pepper to the buttermilk before pouring over the chicken. Place in refrigerator and let soak in for one hour to overnight.

Place in a paper bag:

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
two teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
nutmeg to taste

Shake paper bag, mixing together the dry ingredients. Remove chicken pieces with tongs three or four at a time from the buttermilk and place in the flour mixture. Shake the bag well until chicken is well coated. Place on a rack and let air cure for about twenty minutes. Repeat with all the pieces of chicken. The air curing will allow the flour to be absorbed into the buttermilk and prevent a lot of flour messing up the grease.

Get out your 12 inch iron skillet. Pour about two inches of cooking oil (peanut oil preferred because it has a high smoking point) into it, and heat the oil over medium high heat to 360 (I like to use my thermopen to measure the temperature). Gently place chicken pieces in the oil using tongs and lowering each piece in by one edge then slanting the piece down so it won’t splash grease on you. Check chicken browning often and turn when the bottom is golden brown. Continue cooking to 165 degrees (use the meat thermometer or thermopen). I like to cook the big pieces first then place them in a 250 degree oven in a foil covered glass pan while I cook the remaining pieces in order to insure the chicken is cooked through on all the pieces.

Chicken stock:

Place bony pieces and trimmings into a stock pot. Cover with water (you can use a couple of quarts of water) , add a peeled carrot, cut up, some celery, garlic powder, onion, and salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for several hours or overnight. Try not to boil, just simmer. When finished, pour into colander with a bowl underneath it to catch the broth. The broth can be frozen to use later, and you can make dumplings in the broth right away, taking the meat off the chicken bones.

This broth will make the canned version taste like salted water to you!