It’s Already on Your Crave List
Fried chicken needs no fancy word to convince you that it’s good stuff. Juicy succulent chicken meat, encased in a salty, crispy crackling – in ten words or less, your mouth is already watering. Yeah, I’ve got your number.
As a mom, I did my best. I tried to feed my kids nutritious food, get them into healthy lifetime habits. And yeah, maybe I spoiled them with high-falutin’ products, as I thought I was doing them a favor.
One day, my 8 year old son went out to work cattle with my brother. My son was hot and sweaty, so he asked if there was any chilled Perrier available. After stunned silence, followed by some deep, cowboy style belly laughs, I think they gave him a tin cup and pointed him towards a water trough.
I Mommed Wrong
Our favorite restaurant when the kids were toddlers was a sushi place. Sometimes we would go out for Chinese food. Or we would stay at home and have our usual beans and rice. I had a breakthrough moment when I realized that my boys’ version of comfort food was hot green tea, a chilled mineral water and a California roll.
I realized I wasn’t sharing my food memories with them. The good stuff that I grew up eating was pushed aside for products I assumed were better for them. But what good is living on a ranch in Texas if you don’t grow up with a hankerin’ for fried chicken? I went in search of my skillet.
I learned how to fry chicken next to my mother and grandmothers. My great grandmother’s fried chicken was legendary. Every so often one of the ladies in my family would light a fire under the ol’ frying pan, and sizzle up a batch of legs and thighs. Cream gravy, freshly made biscuits, mashed potatoes, green peas, iced tea with fresh mint served next to a crispy mound of battered dipped chicken livers would definitely be my Last Supper request, if my life ever came to that.
As a matter of Texan pride, I just can’t allow my legacy to be a bunch of sons who daydream about a banana chia smoothie, just like Mom made. After I’m gone, those boys better be dreaming of fried chicken and biscuits.
Old Fashioned Texas Fried Chicken
- Yield: 4-6
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (160gr)
- 1/3 cup corn meal (40gr)
- 3 tbsp. corn starch (22gr)
- 1 tsp. ground pepper (2gr)
- 2 tsp. salt (8gr)
- 1 cup buttermilk (240ml)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying (500ml)
- 3 ½ lb. chicken, cut up into pieces (1.75kg)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 cups milk (.75lt-1lt)
- Place 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup corn meal, 3 tbsp corn starch, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp. pepper in a shallow pan or pie plate. Stir together well and set aside.
- Pour buttermilk into a separate large bowl. Add the egg, and whisk together well. Set aside.
- Add the vegetable oil to a large frying skillet (about 10”-12” (22-25cm) in diameter) Heat to 350° (176°).
- While you are waiting for the vegetable oil to heat, roll each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, coating it well. Using tongs, transfer each piece to the buttermilk mixture, and coat well, then coat again in the flour mixture.
- Place the coated piece of chicken carefully into the hot vegetable oil. Place as many pieces as possible in the skillet. You may have to fry the chicken in batches.
- Allow the chicken to cook for about 15-20 minutes, then carefully flip to the other side and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Juices from the chicken should run clear and not pink.
- Once chicken is well cooked, removed from the frying pan, and transfer to a pan lined with paper towels. Keep chicken warm in the oven while you prepare the cream gravy.
- Turn the heat off from the frying pan, and allow to cool briefly.
- Carefully pour the frying oil into a heat proof dish, leaving about ¾ cup of the frying oil in the pan, along with any of the cracklings.
- Turn the heat back on a medium flame, and add 1/3 cup flour. Stir until smooth and lump free. Once the mixture is smooth, add the milk.
- Continue to stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any cooked-on bits. Season with salt and pepper, stirring and simmering until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve warm with chicken.