The Best Fried Chicken

Serves: 5
Total Calories: 160


5 pieces of chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 buttermilk
2 cups self-rising flour


When you buy fresh chicken to fry, I recommend immediately skinning and rinsing it well. Place the chicken in an airtight container with water, some ice, and salt. (The amount of salt depends on the amount of chicken. For 5–6 pieces, 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in water is enough.) When we prepare our chicken this way at the Irondale Cafe, we never add extra salt. Store the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; drain water, and pour buttermilk over chicken. Return it to the refrigerator until you are ready to fry it.

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl; set aside. Remove cleaned and skinned chicken from refrigerator. Remove from buttermilk and place on platter; let excess buttermilk drain off. Place drained chicken into flour, turning to coat well, patting it on if necessary.

Heat oil in frying pan or fryer to approximately 350°. Place pieces of chicken in pan (place chicken breasts with the thick side down, bone turned toward center of pan). You may have to turn the heat down some, but remember that the cold chicken will cool the oil, and if the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will absorb the oil and be soggy.

Fry at medium-high heat approximately 7 minutes; turn chicken over; brown other side for 6–7 minutes. Be sure chicken is well done. Fry dark meat as long as white meat because of the larger bones in the leg and thigh.

Note: You may cover the chicken and let it steam for a few minutes, but for crispier chicken, leave it uncovered.

Fun Fact: The Irondale Cafe in Irondale, Alabama, is the setting for the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Alabama native Fannie Flagg. The first edition was published in 1987. It is the story is of an unfulfilled housewife who befriends an elderly woman in a nursing home. The older woman tells her life story in the now-abandoned town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, and helps the younger woman to cope with her own life. In January 1992, the movie Fried Green Tomatoes hit the big screen.

In 1972, the McMichael family bought the Irondale Cafe from Ms. Flagg’s great Aunt Bess. The little cafe has grown from a seating capacity of 32 seats in 1972 to 260 seats in 2005. Everyone who comes to the cafe for the first time wants to know all about Miss Bess and the restaurant, and almost all the customers, new and old, order fried green tomatoes. The Irondale Cafe fries 60–70 pounds of fried green tomatoes every weekday . . . and more than that on Sundays!

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 5
Total Calories: 160
Calories from Fat: 0

This The Best Fried Chicken recipe is from the Best of the Best from the Deep South Cookbook Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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