In the Southern U.S. they take their fried chicken pretty seriously, especially in Louisiana, and with good reason. Perfectly crisped and browned fried chicken is one of life’s greatest guilty pleasures. While it’s not a meal we would suggest eating on the regular, it’s certainly ok to enjoy it as an occasional treat.
Fried chicken has a reputation for being fussy to make, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our version recommends cutting up a whole chicken yourself (cheaper than buying pre-cut) but you can also buy already cut-up chicken pieces and save yourself the hassle. After soaking your chicken pieces in buttermilk, dredge them in a flour and spice mixture and let rest in the fridge for a bit–around 30 minutes–to let the flour adhere to the buttermilk.
Heat your oil in a pan (cast iron works best, but any heavy bottomed pot will do) until the oil reaches a temperature of 350ºF. If you don’t have a thermometer an easy trick to tell if the oil is heated is to sprinkle a bit of flour on the oil. If it sizzles it’s ready! Fry your chicken pieces skin side down for 15 minutes and then flip and continue frying for 10 minutes more before draining on paper towel. Serve immediately!
Fried chicken is great on its own but pairs nicely with a spicy sauce or gravy. It’s all also great for backyard parties or served cold at picnics.