Southern fried chicken

Fried chicken is a dish loved around the world, but it was one particular American Colonel and his eleven secret herbs and spices that made the Southern American comfort food famous.
The trick to making succulent moist chicken is to brine it first, and after much research and many trials, I discovered brining the chicken in buttermilk, the ingredient often used to make the coating, created the best results.
Normally, for tender and tasty results, I would recommend using a cut with the bone in, but I found that the chicken (both drumsticks and breast) with the bones took too long to cook and often needed finishing off in the oven to ensure they were cooked all the way through. By using boneless and skinless chicken thigh I got the tasty and tender results I was after. They cooked easily and I didn’t miss the extra layer of fat the skin would add.

500g boneless, skinless chicken thigh
1 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
Mix the spices into the buttermilk. Cut the chicken in half and place in the buttermilk mix, cover and refrigerate for 6–12 hours.

½ cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion salt
¼ tsp marjoram
¼ tsp white pepper
¼–½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp celery salt
½ tsp mixed herbs
oil for deep frying

Mix the herbs and spices into the flour. Drag each piece of buttermilk soaked chicken through the spiced flour mix and then drop into hot oil to fry.
Double dip the chicken by placing back in the buttermilk after the first dredging of flour and then in the flour again before frying for an extra crunchy coating.
For best results your oil should be 180°C. Don’t overcrowd the fryer with chicken, instead cook in batches, otherwise you will lower the temperature of the oil. The chicken will take approximately 7–10 minutes to cook through, but this will depend on how thick it is.
Don’t drain on a paper towel as this will make the coating soggy. Instead, place the chicken on a wire rack with a paper towel underneath. I have the oven on low and place the chicken in the oven on the wire tray while I cook the remaining batches.

Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Brydie Thompson

About the Author

Vicki Ravlich-Horan

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