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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Home Fried Chicken

This is one of those down-home comfort meals that really pleases. However, you have to be aware that home fried chicken does not taste the same as store bought fried chicken. That's the point, right?

Home fried chicken has a classic flavor and texture all its own. It's skin is not break your teeth crunchy but is instead delicately crisp and flavorful. The flesh is so luxuriously moist - and not because it's squirting grease everywhere either. It's so moist, you'll wonder what they're doing wrong at those chain chicken places. If you like super greasy, super crunchy fried chicken, then do yourself a favor and just go order take out. If you want a less boisterous but more flavorful fried chicken, then give this a try.

I like to use all legs when making fried chicken. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is that legs are my favorite. However, I also really like cooking pieces that are all the same size and structure. It makes cooking them evenly soooooo much easier. I also like legs because they are smaller and, therefore, cook faster. Mine spend less than thirty minutes cooking. You can use other pieces, but you'll have to adjust the time they spend cooking. I would still recommend at least using all the same type of parts for the best results.

The trickiest part about making this chicken is you have to have patience. You start out cooking the chicken over decently high heat just to set the crust, but then you have to turn it way down. I used to have the hardest time doing that when I was younger. Every time I was at the stove it was all about high heat all the time. Trust me, that just doesn't work at all when making fried chicken. I can't tell you how often I ended up with raw chicken with a burnt crust. Yuck! If you want the chicken cooked all the way through before the crust browns too much, you have to go low and slow for the majority of the time.

Home Fried Chicken
Yield: 8- 10 legs

8-10 chicken legs, skin on or off
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
vegetable oil, for frying

Mix the flour and spices together in shallow bowl or plastic container. In a separate container, lightly beat the eggs and milk together. Dip each chicken leg in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the leg into the egg mixture, being sure to coat all sides. Finally, dip the leg back into the flour mixture, rolling to coat thoroughly. Set the leg on a sheet tray while coating the remaining legs.

Heat 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. I use a small piece of the flour/egg mixture that invariably ends up stuck to my finger to check the heat of the oil. You are looking for that piece of dough to instantly start fizzing vigorously. Once the oil is hot, add the legs and cook, turning occasionally to brown all sides for about five minutes. You may want a spatter shield during this time period.

After the initial browning, turn the heat down to medium low and cover. For normal sized legs, cook about 15-20 minutes, checking periodically with a meat thermometer. When the internal temperature is around 145° F, remove the cover and turn the heat back up to re-crisp the crust, about five minutes. Cook until the crust is nicely golden and crispy. Remove chicken and place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels to drain and cool slightly.


  1. hi there! i just came across your blog and i fell in love with it! i love your style!!! come check out my blog and follow if you like it, i promise i will do the same!

  2. Oh My Goodness! Looooove your site. Makes me want to get back into doing my blog! I love cooking from scratch! I actually have NOT canned my broth! duh. I do almost everything from scratch! thanks and God Bless.
    oh here is mine that needs updated!

  3. Your coaching helped me make my first batch of homemade fried chicken. My mother-in-law couldn't believe that I cooked it all the way through and didn't burn it. Thank you!!

    1. Congratulations! It's a great feeling to master fried chicken, isn't it? I always felt inadequate for some reason when I was making a mess of it. So glad I could help. Thanks for letting me know! :-)

  4. Can I use a deep fryer instead of on the stove?

    1. Obviously, you can fry chicken in a deep fryer, but I think you would end up with more chain style chicken and would probably want to follow a recipe specifically designed for a deep fryer. I think if you tried to follow my directions and turned down the heat on your deep fryer, you'd end up with a very greasy piece of chicken. You could try using my breading recipe and then deep fry until the coating is nice and golden and then drain and place the chicken on a rack (over a pan) in the oven at maybe 375 to finish cooking through. Seems like that would work really well. Maybe I should try that sometime! If you try it first, let me know how it goes!


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