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Crispy Fried Chicken

If you like your fried chicken with a crust you can get your teeth into, this is for you. And to spice it up, go for the cayenne pepper.
  • 3 pounds frying chicken pieces
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups Crisco (or other vegetable shortening)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
Combine the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside. Combine the egg and milk in a separate dish. Set aside.

In a heavy skillet, melt shortening to a depth of 1 inch over high heat.

While the shortening is heating, rinse the chicken pieces and drain. Working with one or two pieces at a time, flour the chicken, shaking to remove excess, then coat with the milk/egg mixture, then dredge again in the flour mixture, coating well. Place pieces in a single layer on a piece of waxed paper until all are coated.

When the melted shortening reaches a temperature of 360°F on a frying thermometer (or test it with a small piece of chicken -- it should sizzle madly), carefully add the chicken pieces, skin side down, starting with the dark meat in the center of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-high, and fry chicken until skin side is golden brown, then turn and brown the other side.

Reduce heat to medium, and cover the pan. Cook for 25 minutes, and remove the cover. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Remove chicken pieces, and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Cream Gravy, or refrigerate and take with you on a picnic.

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For more, see our complete article on fried chicken.
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