I don't know why I never tried it before. But seeing the recipe in Paula Deen's book gave me the courage to give it a try. "Fried chicken is really hard," my mother said. I was quite worried about it. But goodness, it only has like 3 ingredients in it. Then you just put it in the oil. How hard could fried chicken really be? Turns out, it's really not that difficult. I was impressed with the outcome. There were only a couple issues.
Issue #1: I don't have a kitchen thermometer. The recipe says to bring the oil to 375 degrees. When you don't have a thermometer, it's hard to know when the oil is up to temperature. I fried the chicken in two different batches and realized I didn't have the oil hot enough for the first batch. The second batch went much quicker. I kept my heat between medium-high and high.
Issue #2: I didn't have a pot big enough and had to make the chicken in two separate batches. Although, if I had a pot big enough, it would have taken a gallon of oil. So I guess that's not really a problem. I just kept the cooked dark meat in the oven on warm while I fried up the white meat.
Issue #3: The recipe said to add a pinch of seasoning to the flour. I did. Maybe my pinch was not large enough but the chicken was not seasoned enough. Next time I'll add quite a bit more salt.
Other than that, it went just peachy. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the beautifully browned crusty chicken. This was all that was left by the time I got my camera out. So the result is, Fried Chicken made the cut and will be added to the rotation. Here's Paula's recipe:
House Seasoning (1 C salt, 1/4 C pepper, 1/4 C garlic powder)
2 C flour
1 1/2 to 2 lb. chicken, cleaned and cut up
Crisco or vegetable oil for frying, deep enough to cover the chicken
In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with 1/3 C water. In another bowl, add a pinch of House Seasoning to the flour. Roll each piece of chicken in the egg, then roll in the seasoned flour. If possible, return seasoned chicken to the refrigerator for about 2 hours before cooking.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator, heat the oil to 375 degrees in a frying pan or Dutch oven. Put the largest pieces of dark meat in first followed immediately by the smaller pieces of white meat chicken.
Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and turn the chicken when the undersides are well browned. Cook, covered, for another 5 minutes. Remove the cover and cook until the chicken is well browned. The entire chicken will take about 20-25 minutes to cook. Don't turn the chicken more than once or some of the fine flavor will be lost.