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March 13, 2009
Fried Chicken

You can't grill every day; that's the sad truth. So when I can't get out and light up my charcoal, using my cast iron skillet inside is the next best thing!

easy and healthy fried chicken!

1 pack of drumsticks
1 pack of thighs
1 tub of Crisco
1 T thyme
1 T oregano
1 qt buttermilk
1/8 cup kosher salt
2 T black pepper
1 T paprika
about 8 saltine crackers
2 cups all purpose flour

To begin, I rinsed the chicken and put all the pieces into a large bowl. In another mixing bowl, I added the buttermilk, the thyme, the oregano, and the salt. After mixing I poured it all over the chicken and put it into the fridge. Overnight would be the best, but I let it soak for about 1 or 2 hours instead. After that I made a flour dipping station by putting the all purpose flour and crushed saltines into a pie dish and mixing in the paprika and pepper. Now my station is set up for picking up a piece of chicken, letting it drip a bit, and dunking it into the flour mix. For an extra crispy crunch, take the floured chicken back into the milk and then back again into the flour a second time. Now you're ready for frying.

chicken soaking in a buttermilk solution ready for the crisco for frying mom's fried chicken

To prepare the oil I added about 3/4 of an inch of crisco into my 14 inch cast iron skillet. I monitored the temperature of the oil with my standard meat thermometer. After about 15 minutes the oil was 350 degrees. I had my stove on medium high/high heat. Once I hit the 350 degree (F) mark, I then lowered the temperature to medium high and added 6 pieces of chicken. The minute the chicken is added the oil temperature dropped to 250 degrees. This is fine. Just keep using your thermometer and adjust your heat to keep the temperature near 250. Don't freak if you fluctuate between 230-270! That's ok!

frying chicken in a cast iron skillet

Place your first batch of chicken skin side down and leave it uncovered for 10 minutes. Then flip the chicken and cook for another 10-14 minutes. That's it! Now get out a plate with some napkins on it for soaking up the grease. Don't be afraid to soak up the extra grease with some extra napkins - you'll feel better the next day!

fried chicken in a old cast iron skillet

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