Like chess and playing the guitar, making great fried chicken takes an afternoon to learn and a lifetime to master. It’s not hard to make great fried chicken you can be proud of on your first try and each time after that you can experiment a little with the seasoning and cooking time as you strive toward perfection.
The secret to frying chicken is keeping a consistent temperature of 325 degrees. I use an electric skillet which maintains the temperature on its own. The downside to an electric skillet is that it takes up a lot of space, so if you have a tight kitchen like us, you may want to do this in a regular, heavy bottomed skillet using a candy thermometer to keep the temperature steady.
Easy Buttermilk Fried Chicken
1 chicken cut into 10 or 11 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 breasts each cut in half, and the back, if you want)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
a neutral oil like canola or vegetable
Place enough oil in your skillet so that it’s about a half inch deep and turn the heat to high until it gets to 325 degrees.
While the oil is getting up to temperature whisk the buttermilk and egg together in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper.
When the oil is ready, dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then in the buttermilk mixture, then in the flour again, and place in the oil.
Cook each piece about four minutes. Once it’s brown, flip it and cook for four more minutes. Remove to a plate with paper towels, and keep in a 200 degree oven until the chicken is ready to serve.