June 6, 2010

Southern Fried Chicken

1 frying chicken (3-4 lbs) cut into pieces
* 4 cups salt brine (recipe below)
* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 tablespoon pepper
* 1 tablespoon garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon paprika
* 1 tablespoon ground sage
* 1 cup flour
* vegetable oil to fill skillet 3-4 inches deep 

1. Make the salt brine by dissolving 1/2 cup salt in 4 cups of cold water.
2. Place chicken parts in a large glass bowl, add enough salt brine to cover, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to soak 1 hour (overnight if possible).
3. Drain off the salt brine and add 1 1/2 cups buttermilk to the bowl. Allow the chicken to soak in the buttermilk for 30 minutes (2 hours if possible) turning the chicken several times to make sure all the pieces get to soak.
4. On a large plate combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and sage with 1 cup of flour.
5. In a very large, heavy skillet, add vegetable oil to 3-4 inches deep, and heat over a medium heat. Test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the hot oil. If it sizzles right away without smoking, it's perfect.
6. Dredge each piece of the buttermilk-coated chicken in the seasoned flour and place, skin side down, in the skillet. Do not allow pieces to touch each other.
7. Cover the pan with a loose fitting lid to vent some of the steam and cook to a deep golden brown (approx. 15 min.). Turn the chicken over with tongs and cook an additional 15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Chicken is done if there is no sign of pink near the bone.
8. Drain the cooked chicken on paper towels.

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