© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Nita Holleman
I am letting my Secrets Out After 50 YEARS of Cooking!
Follow Directions EXACTLY for best success!
Begin with a range chicken if you can find one. A range chicken is one that has grown up in a chicken "yard" not in a small cage as chickens are grown today. The chicken should be fresh — not previously frozen if you can find one.
The size of a chicken to fry is important also. Get chicken weighing 2 ½ pounds or less if possible. Maximum frying size is 3 ¼ pounds if at all possible. If chicken is large, be sure to remove any excess fat.
Some meat markets sell chickens cutup "country style." If none are out in the meat section, ask the butcher for a whole chicken and have him/her cut it up for you "country style" or with the pulley bone plus 3 pieces of breast, legs, thighs, wings, and back. Tell the butcher you want the neck and giblets also.
I prefer to cutup my own chicken so that I have 15 pieces (especially if the chicken is larger than I would like it to be), If you are a beginning cook, please see Joy of Cooking by Rombauer and Becker, Bobbs, Merrill, Publishers, Page 461. You should find a copy in your local library. i.e., a "pulley bone," a breast blade and 2 pieces of rib breast, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 4 pieces of back and a chicken liver. Be sure the little green sack is discarded if there is one on the liver. It is very bitter. Some people eat the cleaned gizzard and the heart, but I discard these or boil them for flavor for "giblet gravy."
Wash chicken thoroughly in cold water, Place the chicken in a bowl with enough cold water to cover the chicken to which 2 or 3 Tablespoons of baking soda have been added. Reasons: "Gets the barnyard (taste) out." "Freshens the chicken." Refrigerate and leave the chicken in this water for 15 to 30 minutes, Rinse thoroughly and drain well.
Place chicken again in a baking dish or bowl. Cover it with enough water to cover the chicken and to which 3 or 4 teaspoons of table salt and ¼ cup of granulated sugar have been added. Reasons: The salt helps remove any blood still remaining in the chicken and also seasons it. The sugar sweetens the meat and gives it a great taste. (Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.) Cover dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready to fry the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator, Drain off the water it has soaked in. Rinse the chicken with cold water and drain well. Do not dry the chicken off.
Salt and pepper the chicken well on all sides. (Kosher salt is tasty and used by some people.) Place about 2 cups of self-rising flour in a pan. Martha White or White Lily flour is preferred, not Pillsbury. Add a generous amount of salt and black pepper to the flour, mixing in well. Flour each piece of chicken thoroughly on all sides. Lay the floured chicken pieces in a large flat, dry baking pan. Reserve the remaining flour.
Place a black iron, other frying skillet or Dutch oven on the stove over high heat. Put 1 ½ to 2 cups (or the equivalent) of fresh good quality lard or vegetable or peanut oil in the pan — use enough to at least half cover the chicken when frying. If using an electric skillet, set the temperature at 350°F, When the oil is hot, take each piece of chicken and flour it a second time, gently shake off any excess flour and place the chicken pieces in the hot oil to fry.
A dear friend in Memphis was watching me fry chicken and she told me that I flour my chicken "twice." I had never realized it before. When the pan is full, gently lift each piece of chicken with a cooking tong 1 so that the hot oil goes under the chicken, but dont' turn it yet. This helps prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan. Leave heat set at 350°F. Partially cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken fry about 8 or 10 minutes on each side. Turn chicken only once if possible.
Do not cook chicken beyond the point when you can "hear" it frying. It will burn quickly at that stage, Immediately remove the chicken from the pan with tongs and place on a rack preferably or, on paper towels to drain. If you want the chicken crisp, do not cover it because it will steam and sweat and not be crispy. Serve chicken hot or cold.
1 Sticking the chicken with a cooking fork will let the juices or the "steam out" as well as let the grease in.