Friday, October 21, 2011

Great advice about fried chicken from a reader

The funny, kind, thoughtful comments this blog has received so far have been a delightful surprise. The other blogs I write generate mostly spam, alas.

I wanted to share the following advice from Cali, who read the post with Mrs. Johnson's fried chicken recipe and had some excellent advice to share:

"As a former chef, fried chicken is easy, but GOOD fried chicken isn't so easy. A big part of what makes this (recipe from Mrs. Johnson) so good is that she used shortening to fry the chicken, not vegetable oil. And now that most shortenings are trans-fat-free, it's not even going to hurt your arteries, much. The small pieces make a difference, too. You can cook them at a higher temperature which allows them to brown quickly, seal in the juices and get them out quickly so they stay juicy. One thing, if you season the chicken and then dredge it in flour, your chicken will be tastier as your seasoning will stay on the chicken and not be thrown away in the excess flour.

If you want to really go over the top and you have a place where you can buy freshly rendered lard, try it with lard. That makes for some really tasty fried chicken. Just avoid that stuff in the little box or plastic tub at the grocery store. It's hydrogenated and really not good for you.

Of course, you could render your own lard if you are feeling really ambitious, but it's pretty involved. However, you do get some lovely cracklin's as a bonus! (Lard also makes awesome pie crust and biscuits! Banana cream pie instead of pudding, anyone?)" 

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10 comments:

  1. This reminds me of how we always had a can of Crisco shortening in our refrigerator when growing up.

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  2. I hadn't thought about cracklings in years. My grandmother always made the best homemade vegetable soup with crackling cornbread. I miss that!

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  3. Yup, I, too, thought of the Crisco; perhaps my memory aided by the movie "The Help." And she, too, used a brown paper sack.

    Mmm, I do miss good fried chicken. ;)

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  4. I discovered your blog a few days ago and it is a hoot! I am a New Yorker living in Charleston so it seems that we are living opposite lives. I am loving your stories about the fried chicken as I tried to make it the first time last Sunday. Definetly not a win! Some tell me it was the crisco, some the temp and yet some the fact that I didn't use a paper bag. Guess I will stick with the Mrs. Mac's chicken from the Piggly Wiggly. As the ladies here told me "Chile, why are you trying to make fried chicken?". Keep up the good work!

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  5. Oh Lordie! This blog is gonna make me fat. But I love it!

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  6. Don't really know if I would like this fried chicken but definitely gonna try to see what's the difference in the taste. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I just blogged about which oils to cook with!! I've heard Duck Fat makes the tastiest fried foods and is highly stable in high temps. I'm working on getting some. I'll let you know.

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  8. Of all the foods, "Southern" foods is something I've yet to experience. It sounds simply dripping with tasty wholesomeness.

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  9. Love that you shared this comment! It makes so much sense but I never would have thought to use shortening. And I didn't know most shortenings today are trans-fat-free!

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  10. Hi i love fried chicken and worked in a fried chicken joint for about 3 years unfortunately after my heart attack at age 36 i cant eat it anymore, but i have found that baked "fried" chicken really can be a great substitute for those who are worried about their health.
    i do everything the same. flower, egg then breadcrumbs and toss it in the oven.

    it takes longer but its really good adn not as greasy

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