Btw....if you have any suggestions on techniques you'd like to see or you think I should write about....please feel free to let me though my comment section or email. I need all the help I can get in the idea area. :)
Now...onto the "meat" of this posting....
Fried Chicken isn't just a southern dish anymore. I think it's about as American as baseball, hot dogs and apple pie. When a lot of us hear "fried chicken" we think of a lot of fat and grease, an image of a famous fast food chain comes to mind and our arteries go into panic mode. Sure, if you fry your chicken in a pot full of oil, its understandable (but soooo yummy). But there are healthier ways to fry a chicken.
The healthiest alternative that I've found is to take a cookie sheet, spray it with cooking spray and bake your coated chicken in the oven. Which is good and fine. But to me, thats just baked chicken. If you really want that crispy outside that you can only get by keeping that skin on...then you do have to include a little "fat".
What I am going to share with you is a healthier version. Not the healthiest. Just healthier. The key is to keep this as a treat and not a staple. Depending on the method you usually use for frying your chicken (and I mean frying, not baking), you will save about 100 to 150 calories per serving. Granted....it'll still be pushing 350 calories (25 g. fat), depending on the chicken part that you eat and how many pieces you call a serving (this is based on two chicken legs per serving) but that beats almost 500 calories (41.5 gr fat) for a serving of skillet fried chicken. I wonder where that puts deep fried chicken on the calorie meter?
There is another benefit to oven frying...no splatters all over your stove to clean up afterwards. Wooo hooo!!! Gotta love that!
Sooo, without further ado, here's my favorite fried chicken recipe...
2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
The following seasoning to taste
Rinse your chicken, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. In a pie plate, combine the flour and seasonings. In another pie plate pour the buttermilk.
Set up a station as follows: chicken, flour pan, buttermilk pan and a large plate lined with paper towel and covered with a cooling rack.
Does it sound backwards to you? Or are you with me? Just to clarify...I double dip my chicken. First flour, then liquid...drip dry. Then back into the flour and onto the pan.
This is how the first round of dipping looks.
And this is the drip drying stage. At this point, I like to put the plate of chicken in the fridge, along with the unused flour until I'm ready for my next step.
Because this was part of my New Years Day Dinner...I had lots to do. I was making my traditional good luck food from the south. Fried Chicken, Fried Okra, Creamed Corn (not to be confused with cream of corn because there isn't an ounce of cream in my corn), Corn Bread and of course.....Black-Eyed Peas.
Now back to the chicken....you will need a cookie sheet (mine are super old so I line them with aluminum foil which also makes for a super easy clean-up afterwards), 1/4 cup shortening and 1/4 cup butter or margerine. Don't use vegetable oil. It will spit and spatter and make a huge mess.
Preheat your oven to 425' and melt your shortening and butter on the prepared cookie sheet. Keep an eye on it cuz your butter will burn. (been there, done that)
Set up your work station again....starting with the chicken, then the flour and your prepared cookie sheet
Roll the chicken in the flour, coating thoroughly and place onto the cookie sheet, skin side down.
Cook, uncovered for about 30 minutes, then turn the chicken. Be careful that you don't leave any of the skin on the pan as you turn.
Cook for another 25 - 30 minutes, until the chicken is done and is nicely browned and crispy.
Remove from the oven, and carefully (again, trying not to leave any of the crispy skin behind) place the chicken on a plate that has been lined with paper towel in order to remove excess fat.
Let sit for a few minutes and enjoy your crispy, tender chicken with your favorite sides.