If anyone has been following the article I have written thusly, you will note that I have been educating you on the proper way to cook and eat in Kentucky. Seeing as the semester is nearly over, I believe that you are finally ready. Brace yourselves: it’s fried chicken time, y’all.
Now. Before we begin I want to make one thing clear: this is not a copycat recipe from that…. Place. This is not fast food chicken. This is not served in a paper tub. This is real Kentucky fried chicken, made from love and wonder, fried in happiness and the tears of angels.
I have been making fried chicken alongside my mother for about as long as Jesus has been risen from the dead. I cannot remember a time when a deep fryer full of oil didn’t sit under the island in my kitchen. Speaking of, pro tip: reuse your oil. It tastes even better the second time around.
Fried chicken seems to be a daunting task, but I must reassure you that it isn’t. All you need to get started are some basic ingredients and something to deep fry in: a deep cast iron skillet, a hefty pot, etc. Of course, once the vessel has been secured, it demands to be filled with enough oil to fully immerse the chicken when it is dropped into the pot. I recommend canola oil.
So. Fried chicken. We begin with, naturally, the chicken. I always love drumsticks, but breasts are incredible too. And if you’re in a special kind of mood, you can never go wrong with boneless and skinless chicken strips. Y’all seem to be really into that up here.
So. You have your oil, simmering away until it reaches 375 degrees. Measure this with a candy thermometer, and be sure not to heat it beyond that value. While it heats, prep your breading station.
You’re gonna need three bowls and a platter. Place your chicken (be sure it’s thawed!) on the platter and set it aside. Now, this next thing I’m going to say is very, very important. Like, very important. As important as Roseanna marrying Johnse. Pour your seasoned flour into the first bowl, being sure that this flour is Kentucky Kernel seasoned flour, available at any supermarket.
“But Alex!” you scream, after a moment of stunned silence. “I thought everything was better homemade!”
Well, you’re mostly correct, because most things are. This is not one of those things. Kentucky Kernel has a blend of spices which cannot ever be topped. Trust me on this one: use Kentucky Kernel.
Beat three whole eggs into the second bowl and add a splash of milk. Set this bowl beside the first. In the third bowl add more of the seasoned flour, and place it next to the egg bowl. Set a clean platter next to this final bowl.
Now comes the fun part: assembly line chicken breading. Take a piece of chicken, dredge it in the flour, then the egg wash, then the other bowl of flour. Repeat as many times as it necessary, until you have enough chicken to fill (but not crowd) the hot oil.
With the chicken breaded, place it gently into the hot oil. Check the chicken occasionally, using a slotted spoon to pull it out, and look for the breading to become golden brown.
Unfortunately, there is no clear way to tell that the chicken is wholly done. Ninety percent of the time, the “when it’s golden it’s delicious” rule holds, but to double check just pull out the chicken and pierce it with a knife, making sure the chicken is not pink. If you do this for the largest piece in the bunch, then you can be sure the rest are done as well.
Place the chicken on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil. Eat while still warm, being sure to close your eyes and make that “mngh” sound as you bite for full effect.
Shit tons of oil (preferably canola)
Kentucky Kernel seasoned flour
Splash of milk