Southern Fried Chicken
Source of Recipe
From "The Heritage of Southern Cooking" by Camille Glenn
"Carefully fried Southern chicken is simplicity itself - and one of the best ways to cook chicken in all the world. It is never tenderized in any way before frying, nor is it steamed or braised in the oven after frying. It is not dipped in milk, crumbs, or batter - just a generous coating of flour. Lard makes the crispiest chicken, but vegetable shortening is fine. No bacon drippings. Serve hot or cold. Never do we have a picnic without fried chicken."
List of Ingredients
• One frying chicken, 3 to 3½ pounds
• 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• Lard or solid-vegetable shortening for frying
Cut the chicken into comfortable serving pieces (breast cut in half, thigh and leg separated.) Rinse the pieces and dry them well with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix 1 teaspoon salt into the flour and coat the chicken by rolling the pieces firmly in the flour or by tossing them in the flour in a plastic bag. Before frying, shake the pieces to rid them of any excess flour.
Heat enough lard or shortening to come to a depth of 1½ inches in a heavy, black iron pan. When the fat is piping hot but not smoking, add the largest pieces first. Do not crowd. Cover the pan and fry over medium-high heat for 8 minutes. After the chicken has browned on one side, turn it to brown the other. Keep the fat at medium-high temperature but remove the cover. (You will have to watch the chicken as it cooks.) The total cooking time for tender chicken will be about 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Fried Chicken Gravy:
• 2 Tbsp drippings from fried chicken
• 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1½ cups milk
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Pour off all the fat from the pan except about 2 tablespoons, leaving the golden brown crunchy bits. Add the flour and blend over rather low heat. Add the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy has thickened. Add salt and lots of pepper to taste. Serve over hot biscuits.