I use about a 3-4 lb. chicken, which is always plenty for the three of us. I buy my chicken whole and butcher (cut up) it myself. I have tried buying the pre-cut chicken, but it was too expensive! You could use this same method if you would rather just fry up a half or quarter of a chicken.
First, you need to wash and cut up the chicken. If you don't know how to cut up a chicken, I would suggest watching a few videos about it. Grandma showed me how to cut it up, but I've since forgotten the right way to do it. So, I end up doing a crazy butchering job on the poor bird!
Once the chicken is cut up, soak it in 1/4 cup of salt dissolved in 6 cups of warm water. (This doesn't need to be exact, but it's what I measured out.) I soak it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. This helps make the chicken extra moist and salty throughout.
When the chicken has soaked and you're ready to fry the birdie, you need to get the battering process prepped.
We like a double crust on our chicken. I coat it in the flour mixture, dip in the milk/egg, then coat in flour again. If you don't prefer this, you can just do the milk/egg mixture, then the flour.
You want to pat the chicken pieces dry as you pull them out of the salt water. This will help the batter stick better.
The first flour mixture is: 1 cup flour, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
Mix eggs and 1/4 cup milk with a dash of salt and pepper.
The final flour mixture is: 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. (Just a note: I use sea salt in my mixture. I really like how this turned out, because the salt is rather prominent when it is fried up. We like salt, just saying.)
There will be flour left over when you're done with battering the chicken. I'm sorry if this bothers you, but you'll just have to get over it. I have tried starting with less, but I hate running out and having to add more as I'm going along. It really ruins the proportions.
As you're chicken is getting prepped, heat the oil in a skillet. We have a large cast iron skillet that is especially for frying chicken. I fill the skillet about 2/3 full of vegetable oil. Whatever size skillet you use, just make sure there is about 2-3 inches of space at the top. You don't want your grease to spill out or splash out once the chicken is added. My grandma fries hers up in an electric skillet and it works great too.
Once the oil is hot, I put in a few pieces of chicken. I try to get a good mixture of pieces in each frying batch. That way when it's time to eat there is a good variety that is hot and fresh.
Fry each batch for about 15-18 minutes on med/high heat, turning halfway through. If I were really good at this, I would have used a thermometer to tell you how hot the oil was. But, I'm not that good.
While you wait on your birdie to cook, you can take pictures of yourself in your super cute apron. Mine was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law last Christmas. I just love it!
Or of the dog looking oh-so-cute and hopeful that he will get to taste the bird. Too bad, so sad.
Once the chicken looks golden brown, take it out to drain. I drain mine on a plate with a paper towel. However, I recently read that it's best to drain it on a wire rack inside a cookie sheet. I forgot about that little tip. This helps it stay crispy while the other batches are cooking.
And now the best part....
I recommend serving with fresh green beans and mashed potatoes.
I would also recommend this recipe for dessert.
3-4 lb. chicken
Salt water mixture:
¼ cup salt
6 cups warm water
2 ½ cups flour
1 T. salt
3 ½ t. black pepper
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
1/4 cup milk
1. Wash chicken and take out insides. Cut into pieces, discarding skin as necessary.
2. Soak chicken in salt water mixture in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
3. Prepare batter in 3 dishes:
- 1st flour mixture: 1 cup flour, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Egg wash: 4 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, dash of salt and pepper
- 2nd flour mixture: 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika
5. Heat oil in large skillet, leaving 2-3 inches of space at top of skillet
6. Fry chicken on med/high for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown
7. Remove from oil and let drain on paper towel or wire rack