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Southern Buttermilk-Fried Chicken

Updated February 23, 2016

I have learned all about southern fried chicken in my monthly visits to my daughter who lives in Nashville. Crisp and crunchy and slightly salty on the outside, and tender and juicy inside, there is nothing quite like it. We Northerners try and try, but somehow the best fried chicken still seems to be made down south. I think this is because Southerners rely on tradition and don’t give much thought to contemporary health concerns when it comes to their fried chicken. If Grandma threw lots of fat in the pan and a ton of salt and pepper in the flour, that’s how the chicken still gets fried. The main consideration is to keep the fat as near 365 degrees as you can, from the moment you place the chicken in the pan right up until you lift it out. This will give you the crisp skin and juicy meat that makes fried chicken so tasty. You can also adapt this method to other birds. I’ve made a great, crunchy and delicious quail.

Serves6

Cooking Methodfrying, pan-frying

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrisp, crunchy, juicy, meaty, salty, savory

Ingredients

  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Tabasco sauce
  • 2 3½- to 4-pound frying chickens, cut into serving pieces, thoroughly rinsed and patted dry
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable oil

Instructions

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