I always soak my chicken in water with hot sauce and salt for several hours before dredging in flour. Milk, buttermilk, and cream all make the flour too dark when frying and break down the oil too quickly. Also, the flour needs to be seasoned with salt and pepper, and personally I like a touch of garlic powder in the flour mixture.
Makes 8 servings
• 16 pieces chicken
• 4 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 4 ounces Louisiana Hot Sauce or Frank's Hot Sauce
• 3 cups self-rising flour
• 1 quart frying oil
Mix salt, garlic, black and cayenne pepper together to make your seasoning salt.
Fill a large bowl with two quarts cold water, four ounces hot sauce, and two tablespoons of the salt mixture, and soak the cut up chicken for two to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Take two tablespoons of salt mixture and season the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator at least three hours before frying. (Overnight is even better.)
Add the left over seasoning mixture to the three cups of self-rising flour. Put oil in electric skillet or a cast iron skillet, filling the skillet half way. Heat to 350 F.
Take each piece of chicken and coat very well with seasoned flour. Add chicken to the hot oil. You should have an inch space between each piece as you are frying. Turn pieces to brown evenly.
Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. (This is the best way because of the difference in weight of each piece—they all require different cooking times. The temperature should register 140 F on your thermometer).
Drain on paper bag or paper towels to remove excess, and serve hot or room temperature.
To read Regina Charboneau's post on visiting a friend in Arkansas and making this dish, click here.
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