Everyone has a comfort food. For some it’s chocolate ice cream or the perfect cheeseburger. For me, it’s fried chicken. It definitely runs in the family. My dad grew up on it. It’s also one of the reason he rarely makes it; he says it will never be as good as his mother’s. Speaking of mothers, besides inheriting her slightly crooked middle fingers and a love of the movie Gone with the Wind, I can also thank my mom for my love of fried chicken. If it’s on the menu, you can bet we’ll both order it. We still swear the best fried chicken we ever had was from 50′s Prime Time Café.
Surprisingly though, I’ve never made fried chicken, until today that is. It’s one of those foods I love but am scared to make, like apple pie and beef bourguignon. But since I’ve already conquered those two with great success, I figured it was time to try my hand at chicken. Turns out all you need is a cast iron skillet and a lot of vegetable oil. When I flipped the chicken over and saw the golden brown crunchy side, I had to shout, “I fried chicken!” My wonderful friends didn’t even make fun of me for it. (Probably because they knew if they did they’d go hungry.) I served it with mashed potatoes, carrots with honey, corn muffins and Arnold Palmers. The chicken was perfect: juicy, crunchy, comforting.
Fried Chicken (makes 4 servings)
The main contenders:
2 cups flour
Salt, to taste
Seasoned pepper, to taste (I used regular black pepper.)
1/2 cup milk
1 whole chicken, cut up (If you’re like me and not read to dismember a chicken, buy a pack of legs and a pack of thighs, or whatever cut you prefer.)
3 cups vegetable oil
Combine flour with salt and pepper in large zip-top bag.
With a fork, whisk eggs and milk in a shallow plate or bowl. Coat chicken pieces generously, and put in bag two at a time. Shake them in flour mixture, remove and set aside.
Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. (Test oil temperature by adding a drop of water to pan; if it sizzles, oil is hot enough.) Using tongs, place some chicken pieces in pan, but do not overlap.
Fry about 15 minutes on one side. Turn pieces over, cover pan and cook 10 minutes more, than take off cover and keep cooking until done, about another five minutes. Cut a piece to the bone, and if juices run clear, it’s done. Remove from pan, and place on plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining pieces.