The Search for the Perfect Fried Chicken

by Margo on June 2, 2012

When I was growing up, fried chicken meant a box of frozen, breaded chicken pieces (masquerading as fried chicken) or the occasional treat of KFC. And then I moved out on my own. And then I became addicted to the Food Network. And then I married another foodie, who is also addicted to the Food Network.

And KFC just doesn’t cut it anymore. At least, not our local one.

I am currently on a mission to convince my husband that we need to move South. Yes, big bugs and the heat could be a problem. Yes, I would miss my family, but I want to live in Georgia. Or Arkansas. Or, possibly, South Carolina.

Reason #1: PEACHES. And the much longer/earlier growing season. I hate our short summers here in NY. We have three months of fresh produce, and only two of those are super-productive. But mostly, peaches. :D

Reason #2: No Real Winter.

Reason #3: The food.

Part of my reasoning is that, if I move down South, I can learn how to cook like a proper southern person. I probably have a slightly deluded of what people actually eat, and I do normally make very healthy food for my family, but I am 28 and only just figured out pie crust. I still can’t make biscuits to save my life. Unless, of course, you are counting Bisquick. I don’t, but whatever.

The ultimate Southern meal is fried chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes, corn and gravy, in my opinion anyway. And that is what we’re having for dinner tomorrow. I spent two days seeking out the perfect fried chicken recipe, based on what I’ve seen on the Food Network and how well reviewed the recipes were. And I may have found it.

Serious Eats lists this as the Best Fried Chicken Recipe Ever. And the recipe looks about right, at least as a starting point. It involves brining the chicken overnight, and then soaking it in buttermilk for most of the day before you even start heating up your oil. That sounds right to me. I’ll probably add a few spices to the breading mix, but I have very high hopes for this take on fried chicken. I will be using regular vegetable oil, by the way, even though the recipe calls for a mix of lard, butter and ham fat. I don’t think it will make much of a difference, really, and I already have oil on hand.

The other important ingredient to the meal is, of course, the biscuits. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have messed up biscuits. I was going to spend some time figuring them out back in March, but it never seemed to happen. But, I have a new recipe to try, so I’m going to see what happens. This recipe, Granny’s Homemade Biscuits, sounds promising. I really need to pick up a pastry blender, though. It’s on my list of stuff to get with my next Amazon order, but tomorrow, I’ll just have to make do without one.

And, yes, I already have iced tea sitting in the fridge, just waiting for us.

I don’t know if the perfect fried chicken is going to get me any closer to moving down south. I don’t think that Mark buys the idea that southern food tastes better when you actually cook it in the south. He also doesn’t believe me that smokers (his next dream purchase) work better in the lower half of the US, either. I already tried.  Either way, it can’t hurt, and I’ll get a delicious meal out of it.

Now, I just wish I’d thought ahead to dessert…

photo by: delgaudm

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: