I've spoke before that I can be a bit partial to a Kentucky Fried Chicken, not that I eat a lot of it. Over the years I've tried to replicate the Colonel's secret herbs and spices in an attempt to make something similar tasting at home. I've used mustard powder, sage, thyme, onion and garlic powder, paprika, chili, salt and pepper and whilst the chicken tasted good, it was never quite the taste I was after. Reading up a bit about traditional southern fried chicken led me to realise that less maybe better when it comes to additions to the flour - well maybe not better but definitely more traditional.
This recipe came from a lady who has edited a Southern USA cook book and she described it as old school. She said people do put other spices in, and they make tasty chicken, but if you're after the real old school taste you should miss them out. The spices may have differed from other times I've tried but the biggest difference was in the cooking method. Out went deep frying and in came a whole half hour of low temp shallow frying. Supposedly this makes the coating stick to the skin throughout the eating experience not fall off in big lumps. It works too, the last mouthful still had coating attached and on top of that the 30 minutes at a low temp left moist, tender chicken from the surface to the bone. I loved the coating too, not the bombardment of different spices some recipes provide but tasty nonetheless. I think I'll experiment in the future, some of these new fangled spices like chili and paprika I think to try and perfect it for my tastes.
Southern Fried Chicken
4 or 5 pieces of chicken on the bone, I used legs and thighs - the thighs were the best
1 tub of buttermilk, 300ml maybe
2 cloves of garlic, crushed garlic
1 ts salt
1/2 ts garlic powder
1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts black pepper
1/4 ts dried sage
1/4 ts dried thyme
180gr/1 cup flour
1 ts leftover coating mix
Mix the first teaspoon of salt and the crushed garlic into the buttermilk then pour it over the chicken, rubbing to coat well. Leave for at half an hour to an hour.
Grind the dried spices with a pestle and mortar till fine and then mix into the flour, do this either in a big bowl or big ziplock bag. The bag makes coating easier.
Coat the chicken in the flour mix, as mentioned the easiest way to do this is to put the seasoned flour in a big bag and to dump the chicken in with it, after you've scraped most the buttermilk off - tossing to coat. Leave for 5 minutes to let the flour weld to the chicken.
Heat a centimetre of oil in a heavy frying pan. Your chicken is going to get 15 minutes per side so you don't want it too hot. On my hob a pretty small flame on the biggest ring was perfect, literally one notch.
Place the chicken in and leave for 15 minutes. Turn it over and give the other side 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken to drain on kitchen roll then pour off all bar a spoonful of the oil, there will also be quite a bit of browned flour which will remain in the pan. Chuck in a teaspoon of the leftover coating mix and stir, cooking the resultant roux for a couple of minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add in the milk and bring to the boil, stirring well as you do. Season well with salt and pepper.
Serve with mashed potato, green beans and spring greens. The cream gravy goes over the mash.
I found the cream gravy a bit bland, hence the photo above not having any on. Maybe a bit of tabasco would've perked it up a bit.