As I may have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a Northerner at heart, but moved to the South years ago. There are a lot of things that I love about the South like the warm weather and the beaches that I live by. However, on the flip side I love the fall colors of the North. There are sincerely many reasons that I could go back and forth with as to why I love both regions. One thing that I have truly learned to love in the South is the food.
A flavorful crispy breading on the outside with a tender and moist center is what Southern Fried Chicken is all about. It’s the sort of finger-licking-good comfort food that appeals to everyone. Serve it with your favorite homestyle sides and wash it all down with a glass of sweet tea for a taste of the South in your mouth.
To Season or Not to Season
Typically, the way fried chicken is seasoned in the South, depends solely on how you grew-up eating it. Some cooks add herbs to the flour, some marinate chicken pieces in hot sauce, some add more seasonings, in addition to table salt and black pepper for the breading. Some cook’s season the dredge and not the chicken. Some, like myself, season every single layer starting with the chicken, the egg wash and the flour. Now, I’m not one to say any of those ways are wrong, and feel you should have some liberty to make it your way with the flavor palate that you enjoy. My rule of thumb is, if you enjoy the flavor then, it’s a win. Not being a fan of bland fried chicken, I definitely go for seasoning every layer.
Tips For Frying Chicken
Some things to keep in mind when frying chicken:
- Shallow frying in cast iron allows you to fry each side of the chicken pieces evenly. It also maintains the oil temperature more effectively.
- Season each layer beginning with the chicken, the egg wash and the flour coating for the best flavor.
- It’s best to use a neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point such as peanut, canola or vegetable oil. Skip the olive oil for this one.
- Never overcrowd the pan. Fry chicken pieces in batches removing to a rimmed sheet pan fitted with an oven safe rack. Skip the paper towels. Preheat the oven to 200°F and place the pan into the oven to keep chicken warm between batches.
- Don’t guess the oil temperature, use a thermometer. Start each batch at 350°F knowing that the temp will drop to around 325°F when frying. Adjust heat as needed to maintain the oil temperature between 325°F-350°F.
- Adjust cooking time depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Generally, dark meat takes longer to cook but, also consider the size of large breast pieces and adjust accordingly.
- If you’re concerned that the outside of the chicken is cooking too quickly and over-browning, chicken may be placed into a 350°F oven for a few minutes to finish cooking.
- See how to make Air Fryer Southern Fried Chicken here.
Who Can Learn To Fry Southern Style Chicken?
Most importantly, be assured that anyone can learn the best technique for making fried chicken. Just keep in mind that it takes practice. When cooking, there are always variables so, practice makes perfect. There are so many side dishes that go well with fried chicken such as:
- Mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Homemade cole slaw,
- Homestyle deviled eggs
- Buttermilk biscuits
- In the summer months when garden vegetables are in abundance, sliced fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. It’s good for the soul kind of food.
- 2 beaten egg
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 4 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cup all-purpose flour