07 July 2012

It's Crazy Cooking Challenge Day!  In this challenge, all the participants make and blog about the same dish each month.  Each blogger is to post a unique version of whatever that month's dish is.  This month's assigned dish was fried chicken.  So we were to find a great fried chicken recipe, make it, and blog about it.


This was an interesting one for me, because while I absolutely love fried chicken, I had never made it before.  I am not a fan of frying things, so I only eat fried chicken when we're out, but even rarely then.  I was quite intimidated by the thought of making it myself.  I was having trouble finding a recipe that I liked from a blog, but then our hostess Tina announced that we could get a recipe from anywhere.  We are no longer limited to recipes from other blogs.  That helped a lot in this challenge.  

I spent a lot of time researching fried chicken recipes.  I had trouble finding the perfect one. I knew I wanted to pan fry it, not deep fry.  And I wanted a simple flour coating, and I couldn't do a traditional buttermilk marinade because my little one is allergic to dairy.   Usually, for this challenge, I try to find a really unique version of whatever that month's assigned dish is.  But this month, since I had never made fried chicken before, I just decided to go with the traditional.  Nothing unique or fancy; just good plain fried chicken.  I didn't end up choosing a specific recipe to try; I had read enough recipes in doing my research, that I just went into the kitchen and winged it.  The results were better than I had imagined.  I made really good fried chicken!

Pan Fried Chicken and Country Gravy

1¼ cups flour
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp black pepper
3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken (I did 8 legs & 2 thighs)
1½ cups Crisco
1½ cups canola oil
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper in a large resealable plastic bag or large bowl with a lid.  Add chicken pieces, seal, and toss to coat chicken evenly.  Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet, and arrange floured chicken pieces on the cooling rack.  Place in the refrigerator for an hour.  Remove from fridge.

Put Crisco and canola oil in a 12” skillet and heat to about 325°.  Add half of the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown on one side, about 12-15 minutes.  Carefully flip each piece over and cook another 12-15 or until internal temperature reads 180°.  Remove chicken from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels.

Remove all but 2 tbsp of oil in the skillet.  Stir in 2 tbsp flour and cook for a minute or two.  Slowly whisk in the milk, and bring to a boil.  When it starts to thicken, reduce heat to low.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve with fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Makes 4 servings.

Putting the chicken in the fridge for an hour may seem odd, but I used that technique when I made my Crispy Baked Orange Teriyaki Wings and they had the crispiest, yummiest golden brown skin, so I thought why not try it with fried chicken.  An hour in the fridge kind of dries out the skin just a tad so that it can't get soggy at all.  My fried chicken had a perfect golden brown crust that didn't have a tendency to fall off, like some do.  I was very pleased with it.

This chicken made the perfect summertime meal with mashed potatoes, pan gravy, and corn.  Yum!

While it turned out perfectly, I certainly won't be in any hurry to make it again soon.  It was pretty labor-intensive, a mess to clean up (I was reminded of why I don't ever fry things), and the oil splattered and burned me into 2 places.  But I am really glad I did it, and now I can say that I have successfully made fried chicken!

Check out all the great fried chicken recipes below and come back next month too see what kind of unique cheesecake recipe I come up with!

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  1. Nothing wrong with traditional good old plain fried chicken...yours looks wonderful!

    Thank you for checking out my CCC entry  Copycat "KFC" Original Recipe Fried Chicken and your comment.Lisa~~Cook Lisa Cook

  2. LovebakesgoodcakesJuly 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    That meal looks perfect!

  3. The only thing that makes fried chicken better is gravy.  YUM!


  4. You had me at cream gravy!  Your chicken looks wonderful and yummy!  By the way, your girls are the cutest!

  5. Nice job, Lesa!  You did an excellent job wingin' it.  And love the gravy.  :-)
    Oh, and for your little one allergic to dairy ... I learned through my chosen recipe for this month's Challenge that honey is a FABULOUS tasty & tenderizing marinade for chicken ... could that be an option for you?
    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground (CCC #7)

  6. This fried chicken looks so delicious!! Stopping by from CCC#45. 

  7. Lesa, your plate looks so inviting! Nothing better than a fried chicken dinner :)

  8. The Undomestic GoddessJuly 9, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Your chicken looks delicious! And I will have to try the refridgerator tip.