The Fried Chicken Experiment

Original Tipsy and I are back up in the Northwoods for the Summer and we decided to do some experimenting in the kitchen. We decided for Memorial Day weekend we would try our hand at perfecting a fried chicken recipe. I was shocked to learn that she had purchased a deep fryer and was hiding it from me. I would have been frying everything all this time! To start we did some research on making the BEST Fried Chicken. We learned three important things were a must:

  1. Good quality chicken.
  2. Brining is key.
  3. The chicken needs to be dry when frying.

The first requirement was easy. Good quality chicken. I knew of Harrison’s Poultry Farm for years so this was my first choice for buying chicken. The chickens are happy and healthy and that makes all the difference in the flavor. Located in Glenview they have been providing quality chicken since 1893. It’s pretty much a given they are the best. I purchased 8 Leg/Thighs which the butcher gladly separated for me, 4 breasts and a couple of tenders. The total for all of this was about $24 which included some gourmet BBQ Sauce.

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The second requirement Original Tipsy covered. She did research on brine and made a simple one using salt, sugar and warm water. Our chicken was in the brine for about 3 hours and it was delicious but we figured if it sat in the brine over night it would have been even better.

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We placed all the chicken in a medium-sized Rubbermaid storage container with a lid and let it soak away in the fridge.

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The third part was two-fold. Getting the chicken to be dry for battering and frying. We drained the chicken in a colander for a few minutes and then let the pieces dry out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.

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We also used paper towels to dry off the tops and really pressed into the pieces to get all of the moisture off of it.

The next step is your typical process. Making the batter and coating your chicken pieces.

For your batter here is what you need:

  • 5 Cups of AP Flour
  • 2 T of Kosher Salt ( you may need more to get it to your liking, but the brine also adds salt)
  • 2 T of Paprika
  • 2 T Fresh Black Pepper
  • 1 T Poultry Seasoning
  • 3 T of Granulated Garlic
  • 4 C of Buttermilk

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients  in a large square plastic container.
  2. Add your buttermilk to a separate dish, we used a medium-sized rectangular Tupperware.
  3. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with paper towels and cooling rack on top. One for the coated chicken and one for the fried chicken to rest after cooking.
  4. Set up a station to prepare the chicken where you can work.

**Complete video tutorial below.

Our process was:

  1. Lightly dust the dried, brined chicken with the flour mixture.
  2. Submerge the dusted pieces in the buttermilk, so that they are fully coated.
  3. place the buttermilk soaked pieces back in the flour and press the chicken pieces into the flour on all sides so that it is well coated and attached to the chicken.
  4. Place the chicken on the prepared cookie sheet to rest before frying.
  5. We let the chicken sit out for about 15 minutes while the oil in the deep fryer reached the perfect temp.

**Pro Tip-Your hands will get very caked with the flour mixture during this process so keep some damp paper towels handy to wipe your hands during the process.

We decided to do the actual frying outdoors for easier clean up. We fried our chicken on the back of our Kawasaki Mule, it was the perfect height for working and we didn’t have to worry about clean up. We decided to embrace our inner country girl for this step.

Finally we were ready to fry! We split the chicken into two batches, placing one in the fridge to fry later. The chicken pieces take about 20 to 25 minutes to fry so if you have a small fryer like us, work in batches making sure your chicken that is waiting to fry is kept cold to avoid any bacteria issues.

Pro Tip – enjoy some cocktails while frying your chicken.

Our chicken came out great and we enjoyed it with some cold drinks and fresh tomatoes. A perfect Summer supper that was worth all the research and labor.

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Although it was near perfect, there were a few tweaks we decided to think about for next time.

Tipsy’s Thoughts :

  • Less salt in the flour mixture.

  • More paprika or even a little chili powder in the flour mixture.

Original Tipsy’s Thoughts:

  • A little too dense and would have liked it a little more “shattery”. Thinking of adding something to the flour mixture to tweak this. Perhaps, baking soda or corn starch.

Check out my video about the whole Fried Chicken Making Process!


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