This has been my favorite recipe for fried chicken for many years now. And I know there are quite a few ingredients in the recipe as well as some planning time involved, and in truth the frying part isn’t that much fun either. But you are just going to have to trust me when I say I have tried to cut the ingredients and time down, but none of my attempts have been successful. I even gave it a go again the other night for our dear friends Jim and Margo. And although the chicken wasn’t bad, it simply was not as good as this recipe either. (I’ve tried, really I have.) So from now on I am just going to have to plan ahead and follow my original adaptation of Selma Brown Morrow’s recipe to a tee. But I promise you will not be disappointed if you too love a crispy crusted, tender and spicy piece of home cooked chicken. And yes I know, just looking at the ingredients you would imagine that the chicken would be way too spicy. Not the case. It merely has an attitude. Not too much of an attitude mind you, but enough to make it interesting. And we all know that the taste of chicken can be a thundering thumping bore if not given a little flavor enhancement here and there.
So give this fried chicken recipe a try. It will lift your spirits with just the first bite. And you will never have to be embarrassed to be seen in its company. No one could possibly consider you less than a true bon vivant for serving this dish or even being in the same room with it. And how many other foods, or friends for that matter, can you make that same statement about? Just sayin’!
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 T. Dijon mustard
- 1 T. powdered onion, divided
- 1½ tsp. granulated garlic, divided
- ½ tsp. paprika
- 1½ tsp. dry mustard, divided
- 1½ tsp. cayenne pepper, divided
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1½ c. flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- 8-10 skinless chicken thighs (not boneless)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. ghee, opt.
To make life easier, I suggest getting out a medium sized glass or plastic bowl with a cover and a large enough rimmed baking sheet to contain the chicken pieces in a single layer. (There are lots of ingredients that are duplicated in the marinade and the coating. So make life easier on yourself and touch each spice container only once.) So as we go, I will follow each new ingredient with “B” for bowl and “S” for sheet. Buttermilk (B), Dijon mustard (B), 1½ teaspoons powdered onion (B), 1½ teaspoons powdered onion (S), ½ teaspoon granulated garlic (B), 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (S), paprika (B), ½ teaspoon dry mustard (B), 1 teaspoon dry mustard (S), ½ teaspoon cayenne (B), 1 teaspoon cayenne (S), ½ teaspoon kosher salt (B), 1½ teaspoon kosher salt (S) 1 teaspoon black pepper (B), 1 teaspoon black pepper (S), flour (S), baking powder (S). (Looks much more difficult than it really is!)
Whisk the marinade ingredients in the bowl together. Whisk the ingredients for the flour coating together on the baking sheet. (Don’t use the same whisk until you have washed and dried it thoroughly.) Set pan aside because you aren’t going to need it until the chicken has marinated for up to 48 hours.
Place the chicken in the bowl of marinade. Stir to make certain all of the chicken has been exposed to the buttermilk mixture. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
An hour before you plan to fry the chicken, make certain that the seasoned flour covers every inch of the baking sheet. Remove the chicken from the marinade (do not shake off any of the marinade) and place each piece on top of the flour. Turn each piece carefully to coat thoroughly and let stand for 1 hour before frying. (Turn as needed during the hour to allow chicken to absorb as much of the flour mixture as possible.)
Pour enough olive oil into a large fry pan to cover the bottom; with a little more just for good luck. Add the ghee. Bring temperature to medium high. Place chicken in pan with the less meaty side down first. (In other words, if the skin were still on the chicken, the skin side would be closest to the ceiling.) Turn the heat down under the chicken until the oil is just bubbling nicely around the chicken. When the first side is a lovely dark golden brown (and yes you can carefully peak to make sure it’s a lovely brown) turn the chicken being ever so careful not to pierce the flesh or disturb the crust. Cook the second side until the chicken is done (internal temperature should be at least 165 °F) and the crust is a deep golden brown. When chicken is finished cooking, remove to cooling racks. Do not place on paper towels or the underside will get soggy. Best served at room temperature.