For the past few weeks I had a strong desire for fried chicken. The quick fix would be a trip to KFC but I wanted to make it myself. I had a few whole breasts in my freezer so they came out and each breast was cut in half, giving me eight pieces total.
The traditional method is to soak the chicken in buttermilk, then coat in seasoned flour and fry. I don’t think buttermilk helps tenderize the meat: buttermilk was far different when fried chicken recipes were created centuries ago and now instead of leftover milk from churning butter it’s skim milk with a culture added. I decided to apply a dry rub to my chicken: your basic equal parts paprika, brown sugar, kosher salt and black pepper. Left the rub on the chicken for twenty-four hours and didn’t rinse it off.
Next I put two cups of flour in a bag so I could drop each piece of chicken in and give it a good shake for even coating. I then dipped the floured chicken into a wet mixture of one egg and one cup of milk, then back into the flour bag.
The chicken was fried in a dutch oven at 325F for six to eight minutes, turning about half way. I used an instant read thermometer to verify 160F internal temperature and then let it rest on a wire rack.
The coating was beautifully crisp and had a nice shatter when I bit in. The dry rub came through subtly and the meat was very moist. A few pieces were left over and provided a late night snack: the chicken was beautiful at room temperature. The coating had lost some of it’s crunch but would come back with a warming in the oven.