Who doesn’t love some good ‘ole Southern style fried chicken? Even my Northern relatives flip for it. Now you’ll have to excuse me, because my deep South roots are going to show in this post.
Warm and crispy, served with some mashed potatoes and a side of corn. Maybe some sliced tomatoes on the side? And of course, some delicious sweet tea.
I have been very surprised at the amount of people who do not know how to fry chicken. Sometimes it’s out of fear, sometimes it’s just because that’s not typical in the part of the world they live in.
Well allow me to introduce you all. Don’t be scared, it’s not hard. Bonus, once you can fry chicken you can take pride in your real (or fake) Southern roots and fry anything (and believe me, we fry everything!).
Presenting, Southern Style Fried Chicken
- Chicken (We prefer boneless, skinless breasts (use 6) or tenders (use 8-10) in this house)
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1 Egg
- 1-1½ Cups of flour, All Purpose.
- Paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cilantro
- Crushed Corn flakes or Frosted Flakes (Corn Flakes work best, but Frosted Flakes work too, they just come out darker).
- Vegetable or peanut oil
- You need two relatively flat dishes or shallow bowls.
- Pan for frying in.
- Paper towel or paper bag.
- Be prepared to get your hands messy. I wear an apron for this.
- Fill your pan with oil (enough so that the chicken will be half submerged) and turn on that stove. I do not use temperatures, I just go by the oil. Once it starts bubbling it is ready. About every 3-4 minutes I turn the stove down a bit so the temperature of the oil stays consistent. On the contrary, you can start the oil off at a lower stove temperature (such as a 6 on the stove dial, which is where mine always ends up at) and not adjust it much. However, I am impatient and always start my stove off on a 9 and turn the temperature down from there.
- Mix the Corn Flakes and Flour, and a teaspoon of paprika, garlic powder, and cilantro in one dish.
- Whisk the egg, mayonnaise, a teaspoon of pepper and garlic powder in the other (I know, it looks gross).
Do NOT add salt yet. Salt dries out the meat and therefore goes on at the very end.
Take a piece of chicken, dip it in the egg, then roll it in the Corn Flake/flour mixture.
- Dip the chicken back in the egg and roll one more time in the Corn Flake/flour mixture.
I use my right hand for the egg part and left hand for the Corn Flake/flour mixture. Seems to work best for me. You can also use tongs but you’ll usually scrape some of your coating off with them.
Place coated chicken immediately into hot oil as you finish coating it. Do not try and coat them all and place them all at once, as this will cause your coating to start to fall off before it makes it to the pan. You will notice the oil take on some of the flour and it’s color will change, this is ok. The oil should only come up about halfway on the chicken.
When you see the sides begin to turn golden brown, flip the chicken over in the pan by using a pair of tongs and gently grabbing the chicken by the sides.
If the chicken seems to stick to the bottom of the pan it is not ready to flip yet! If you’re afraid it’s burning, gently use the tongs and grab the side of the chicken and wiggle it slightly to unstick it and turn your stove temperature down because it’s too hot.
- After a few minutes, touch the center of the chicken with the tongs. Does it seem squishy or springy? If so, it’s not done yet. Does it seem slightly firm (not hard, just slightly firm)? If so, your chicken is done. If you want to be absolutely sure, it’s always ok to cut a piece in the middle. If you’re using tenders, they tend to float when ready.
- Place cooked chicken on a paper towel or paper bag and lightly salt it. Let it sit for about 2 minutes before transferring it to a serving platter.
Don’t let fried chicken intimidate you! It’s not hard and once you do it you will feel very confident in your abilities.
Want a less crispy chicken? Leave out the Corn Flakes/Frosted Flakes and just use flour.
Don’t have mayonnaise? Use 1 pat of melted butter that has cooled slightly (don’t want to cook your egg). The fat from the mayo or butter helps hold the moisture in the chicken.