Southern fried chicken, to me, has always appeared to be the best fried chicken there is. It is moist and juicy on the inside and the crispy coating is a sinful delight I am more than willing to commit. I have made two or three attempts in the past to recreate this rather iconic American dish but have failed miserably. Either the chicken was dry on the inside or the coating was too sticky because of too much flour.
Recently, I decided to give it one more try. Armed with a recipe I found online, I made a few tweaks and, lo and behold!!! An almost perfect Southern fried chicken!
Here’s the recipe:
1. In a bowl, mix buttermilk (make your own: about a cup of milk and a tablespoon of vinegar), cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and white pepper.
2. Place the chicken pieces in the marinade and allow flavors to seep in the chicken overnight.
3. Next, mix flour, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in a shallow bowl. At this point, you can leave the seasoned flour as is or try adding dried herbs of your choice. Take note that the flavor will alter depending on the dried herbs you have chosen to add. Also, I don't measure when I cook. I eyeball everything but about a teaspoon of each of the spices and herbs will do.
4. Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour. You can do double coats (coat with flour, dip in buttermilk again, and then coat with flour for the second time). I did double coats and then, I tweaked the recipe by coating the chicken in breadcrumbs. It resulted to a crispier chicken.
5. Fry the chicken in batches.
I say that it’s almost perfect Southern fried chicken because I only used a few herbs and spices. Now if I can just figure the other ones that wonderfully complement chicken (or the rest of KFC’s 11 secret herbs and spices!), that would spell out success in this feathery quest for the Holy Grail of fried chicken!
But as it is, it is already more than good. It’s unbelievably savory and has an incredible kick in every morsel of chicken. Marinating it in flavoured buttermilk gives it the moist and juicy meat. I paired it with buttered veggies, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, and a Southern accent for good measure. :)