Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- At least 3 hours (and up to 12 hours) before frying your chicken, combine the buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour mixture over chicken pieces, turn all pieces to coat well, and refrigerate.
- When you're ready to fry, drain the marinade from the chicken pieces. You can set the pieces on a wire rack set on a plate or cookie sheet.
- Melt the shortening over high heat in a skillet large enough to accommodate all the pieces without crowding. While the shortening is melting, combine the flour with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Using either the paper bag or shallow dish method, coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, gently shake off any excess flour and place in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper. (My personal preference is the paper bag method. Works like a charm and there's no cleanup.)
- When the melted shortening reaches a temperature of 360°F on a frying thermometer, carefully place the chicken pieces, skin side down, starting with the dark meat, in the center of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and cover loosely. Cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is dark golden.
- Lower heat to medium and remove cover. Turn the pieces over carefully and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken pieces, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Cream Gravy, or refrigerate and take with you on a picnic.
Variations: Add 1 teaspoon tabasco or your favorite hot sauce to the buttermilk marinade; OR 1 or 2 pickled jalapeños with a few tablespoons of their juice.
Prep time: 15 Min; Cooking time: 30 Min; Total time: 45 Min
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell