ELIZABETH’S FRIED CHICKEN

By ELIZABETH “OMA” FISHER, USA
OMA ELIZABETH'S FRIED CHICKEN
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Oma’s fried chicken is great eaten hot or cold at a picnic, or big family gathering. It pairs particularly well with collard greens, potato salad, or coleslaw. The recipe is written for a variety of chicken cuts; feel free to only use those cuts the people you are feeding prefer. While rough quantities are listed, the ingredients could simply be: bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, seasoned salt, flour to coat, and cooking oil to come ½ way up a heavy skillet. This is the type of recipe that you will learn to do by feel, gaining a sixth sense for variations in the oil temperature, and knowing when the chicken is done perfectly.
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. ½ to 4 hours before you are going to fry the chicken, season the pieces with the seasoned salt by sprinkling them with a light coating on all sides. Place in the fridge if you will be letting the chicken marinate for more than ½ hour. Prior to frying, make sure the chicken comes to room temperature. It shouldn't be cold out of the fridge, as it will bring the oil temperature down too far and won't cook properly.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off the excess before frying; you can do this by placing the flour in a large ziplock bag, and tossing a couple of chicken pieces in it at a time.
  3. Heat the peanut oil over medium low heat in a heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet that has been filled halfway (this should be about 1 liter of oil). Test to see that oil is at temperature for frying by wetting your fingers and flicking a couple of drops into the oil (not a lot!) The oil is ready if the drops sizzles vigorously-- this give you a temperature of around 350°F. If it sinks to the bottom, the oil is too cold. If it pops violently, it is too hot and you should turn the heat off for a few minutes.
  4. Be aware that cold chicken or adding a lot of pieces at once lowers the oil temp. A large pan and/or less pieces to start is the way to go; make sure not to crowd the pieces. The oil temp will drop when you add the meat so for the first batch, just put 2-3 pieces or 4-5 small pieces like wings.
  5. Start by cooking the wings-- they are the easiest and cook fast, so you will get the hang of how to cook the meat through without burning the flour. Cook the legs next. Thighs and breasts are a bit tricker to get just right, so do them last. Only turn each piece once. This is where you get to use your senses- look to see if the chicken is dark golden brown. This should take about 8-10 minutes per side, for the larger pieces. Then turn it over, and cook on the other side. You’ll want to monitor the temperature with each piece-- the larger pieces do best with a slightly lower oil temperature, so that the flour doesn’t burn during the longer time that meat needs to cook.
  6. When both sides are cooked, drain on a wire rack rather than on paper towels. This will keep it crispy.
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. ½ to 4 hours before you are going to fry the chicken, season the pieces with the seasoned salt by sprinkling them with a light coating on all sides. Place in the fridge if you will be letting the chicken marinate for more than ½ hour. Prior to frying, make sure the chicken comes to room temperature. It shouldn't be cold out of the fridge, as it will bring the oil temperature down too far and won't cook properly.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off the excess before frying; you can do this by placing the flour in a large ziplock bag, and tossing a couple of chicken pieces in it at a time.
  3. Heat the peanut oil over medium low heat in a heavy bottomed pan or cast iron skillet that has been filled halfway (this should be about 1 liter of oil). Test to see that oil is at temperature for frying by wetting your fingers and flicking a couple of drops into the oil (not a lot!) The oil is ready if the drops sizzles vigorously-- this give you a temperature of around 350°F. If it sinks to the bottom, the oil is too cold. If it pops violently, it is too hot and you should turn the heat off for a few minutes.
  4. Be aware that cold chicken or adding a lot of pieces at once lowers the oil temp. A large pan and/or less pieces to start is the way to go; make sure not to crowd the pieces. The oil temp will drop when you add the meat so for the first batch, just put 2-3 pieces or 4-5 small pieces like wings.
  5. Start by cooking the wings-- they are the easiest and cook fast, so you will get the hang of how to cook the meat through without burning the flour. Cook the legs next. Thighs and breasts are a bit tricker to get just right, so do them last. Only turn each piece once. This is where you get to use your senses- look to see if the chicken is dark golden brown. This should take about 8-10 minutes per side, for the larger pieces. Then turn it over, and cook on the other side. You’ll want to monitor the temperature with each piece-- the larger pieces do best with a slightly lower oil temperature, so that the flour doesn’t burn during the longer time that meat needs to cook.
  6. When both sides are cooked, drain on a wire rack rather than on paper towels. This will keep it crispy.
Recipe Notes

I created a gluten-free version of this recipe by simply coating the chicken with a gluten-free flour blend instead of white wheat flour-- in this case Pamela’s Baking and Pancake mix. It came out really well-- crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. If you do this in addition to the original recipe, be sure to fry the gluten-free pieces first, so as to prevent cross contamination. ~Jessica

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