Beer-Battered Fried Chicken
Source of Recipe
From "The Glory of Southern Cooking" by James Villas
"Southern cooks have been bantering over fried chicken ever since Mary Randolph proffered the first (and, in many respects, still definitive) recipe in her 'Virginia House-Wife' in the early nineteenth century, one of the latest twists being this tangy version using a slightly fermented beer batter. If an extra-crispy skin and very moist interior is what you're looking for in fried chicken, this could be the perfect formula. Do note, however, that the chicken is cooked about 10 minutes less than in the traditional method, since this batter tends to burn more quickly than one made with a milk product. Just watch the chicken very carefully as it cooks. If it seems to be browning too rapidly, reduce the heat to 325° F."
List of Ingredients
◦ ¾ cup all-purpose flour
◦ 6 ounces lager beer
◦ ½ teaspoon salt
◦ Tabasco sauce to taste
◦ Vegetable shortening (preferably Crisco), for deep frying
◦ One 3- to 3 ½-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, beer, salt, and Tabasco till smooth and let the batter stand for one hour.
In a large cast-iron skillet or electric fry pan, heat about 2 inches of shortening to 350° F or till a few drops of water flicked in with the fingers sputters. Whisk the batter again, dip the dark-meat pieces of chicken in the batter, letting the excess drip off, and fry in the fat till golden, about 10 minutes on each side, turning once with tongs. Drain on paper towels, then repeat the procedure with the white-meat pieces of chicken. Do not cover to keep warm.
Serve the chicken hot or at room temperature.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
❧ "Kentucky fried chicken, as opposed to ordinary Southern fried chicken, is no more than a technique perfected by Colonel Harland Sanders in the late 1930s, whereby chicken seasoned with a secret formula of herbs and spices is not actually fried but cooked in a pressure cooker."