Monday, August 10, 2009

Fried Chicken Fears - Extinguished

I have a confession to make. This normally fearless girl in the kitchen has been freaking out about making fried chicken. I chose a southern theme for my Dinner Divas dinner group this month and thought it would be fun to tackle fried chicken. Fun idea but it really scared me. I actually had dreams about it. I kept visualizing myself starting a fire. I've never dealt with that much hot oil before and I all I could do was picture the worst. I woke up early Saturday morning to clean the house and prepare for the dinner. I stalled for as long as I could until I realized I only had an hour before the girls would arrive. I took out my le creuset but then I thought it wasn't deep enough and pictured the oil boiling over. I decided to use the largest, deepest pot I had, my All Clad pasta pot (I know, I'm a kitchen label whore).
I had two containers of peanut oil (waaay too exepensive by the way) and that didn't even fill up the pot halfway, so I added in canola oil until the oil was about halfway up the pot. That was a lot of oil and it took a long time to come to temperature! Good thing my buddies over at bakespace recommended a deep frying thermometer or I would have been in big trouble. Ever put a piece of meat or veggies into a pan of oil that's not hot enough? Yuck! The meat will absorb all the oil and you'll end up with a greasy, soggy, mess. I followed the directions on the recipe exactly and was thrilled with the result. The chicken was perfectly moist and crisp! I was soo excited about it! I don't have to be afraid of deep frying ever again! I'll be honest though, I won't be in a rush to do it again because not only is it fattening but two days later and my house still smells like a fast food joint.

Here's the recipe that I used. Paula uses 1 whole cup of hot sauce. That seemed a bit excessive so I used about half that. Turns out I couldn't taste the spice at all. A friend said that since it was being deep fried it wouldn't really be that spicy if I used it all. So next time I'll add more. This recipe is guaranteed not to fail you, so if you ever get up the nerve to deep fry some chicken this is the recipe to try!

Paula Deen's Southern Fried Chicken

6 to 8 servings


3 eggs
1 cup hot red pepper sauce
2 cups self-rising flour
2 1/2 pound chicken, cut into pieces


House Seasoning, recipe follows

Oil, for frying, preferably peanut oil
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.

In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange (about 1 cup). Season the chicken with the House Seasoning. Dip the seasoned chicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour. Place the chicken in the preheated oil and fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer than white meat. Approximate cooking time is 13 to 14 minutes for dark meat and 8 to 10 minutes for white meat.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
To make the House Seasoning, mix the ingredients together and store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months.

Tip - Have a cookie sheet lined with a supermarket paper bag and a cooling rack ready to go. As you remove the chicken place it on the rack so it stays crispy but the excess oil is removed. The brown bag is for clean up, it makes your pan easy to wash, no greasy mess to deal with.

Do not throw oil down your drain, you husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, whoever will KILL you! Seriously, it will clog the drain. I was wondering how I was going to get rid of this oil and I had one of those lightbulb moments. You know the ones where you feel really stupid that it took you so long to figure out. I just used the empty oil containers. A funnel would be really handy for that. If you don't have empty bottles just use a coffee can. Make sure you wait for the oil to cool!!!


Megan said...

Great job! This is something I want to try to do too... I think I need one of those thermometers!

Michelle said...

Awesome job! I have never deep fried anything yet still lust over deep fryers every time I see them. I dream of homemade french fries, chicken, and anything else you can think of. Truth be told, I'm a wuss ;-) But you've inspired me! Now I want to give it a go!

Elenka said... CUP of Hot Sauce!? Yowza.

Lynda said...

Your chicken looks perfect...there's nothing better tastig than fried chicken; but, there is the mess,at least, I always make a mess!You did a great job.:)

Sweet and Savory said...

I am trying to cut back on fried food but this is so tempting. I love fried chicken but rarely get to eat it. If your chicken was here, I would eat it.

Denise said...

I have made this recipe and my sister has tried it and loved it. I was so scared to make it as well, but it came out beautiful just like yours.

Hilary said...

It looks great! Whenever I fry I try to do it outside...of course a Fry Daddy (gasp!) is about the only way to do this unless you have a rockin' outdoor kitchen :)

justjoycee said...

I use this recipe too, chicken always comes out perfect......

Lucy said...

There, you've got one under the belt! ;-) Your fried chicken looks awesome! Kudos!!

girlichef said... did a great job! I love "GOOD" fried chicken...not the nasty, grease-soaked junk...and this sounds out of this world :D

Patti T. said...

My hubby has been bugging me almost daily to make some fried chicken, ughhh. I dread the lingering smells, I would so much rather do it when I can open the windows for fresh air and that aint happening now! Anyway, I always wondered about the amount of hot sauce in these type of recipes, I will brave that amount now that you say you can barely taste it. How did you hubby like it? I bet he was a huge fan. Your pictures look gorgeous. Way to conquer your fears.

Bob said...

Looks awesome! Fried chicken is the bomb, but I've never made it myself. I've only deep fried once and it came out good, but I wasn't too fond of the lingering hot oil smell either. I think I would only do it when I can have all the windows open. Heh.

Jamie said...

Yum! I love fried chicken and I'm afraid to make it too. Your instructions are great and do indeed take some of the fear away. Plus looking at that fried chicken....yummy!

Danielle said...

congrats!! your chicken looks wonderful...YEAH! I'm so glad you've ventured over to the "southern" side. hee hee

Spryte said...

Your fried chicken looks perfect!!