- Marinating in buttermilk breaks down the chicken so it can be penetrated with flavors and will retain a juicy meat.
- Cayenne pepper is a Tennessee way of seasoning the chicken, Mark loves it.
- I like to marinade the chicken in buttermilk, cayenne pepper and want to try marinating in chicken broth.
- Dredging the marinated chicken in flour before the whipped egg helps the egg adhere to the chicken. The egg helps the final flour season mixture adhere and helps in the frying process.
- Through much trial and error and because there was just no way I was going to fry in lard I found that Crisco Shortening maintained the heat and a cleaner fry, better than vegetable oil, corn oil or peanut oil.
I’d have to say almost every cook, whether a home cook or a restaurant chef seemed to leave out the information of putting the chicken in the oven for the remaining cooking session. Not sure that it was intentional or they just thought it was a technique I should have known. Time and time again I could not reach the final product that I was looking for. Then I was watching the biography of Dave Thomas (the founder of Wendy’s) and they were talking about his experience before he founded “Wendys” working in a restaurant where he was the chicken fryer. They talked about how he met the Colonel of KFC and they teamed up to build the KFC Franchise. Well they both pan-fried their chicken then finished it in the oven. Wow, a breakthrough. (This is before the Colonel started using the pressure cooker pot as a deep fryer.) Yes, now I have a main secret to making sure my chicken is cooked completely without ruining the chicken.
- I learned that a batter is used for deep-frying, and a seasoned flour is used for pan frying.
- After reading numerous commercial flour mixture ingredients for fried chicken I found cornstarch was always present. As I developed a seasoned flour mixture that satisfied my flavor profile I added cornstarch. This helps the mixture thicken during the frying process and adhere to the chicken.
- A heavy bottom frying pan is necessary for an even distribution of heat. The reason I use of a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Although I wonder if an electric skillet would give me the same results.
Now I’m not saying that my Southern Pan Fried Chicken recipe is the best or even complete, but it now satisfies my craving for this wonderful type of fried chicken. The best part, my boyfriend loves and enjoys my chicken so much that we no longer go out for it. I make it at home, and that’s the way it should be.
Okay so this is everything I have learned over the last 6 years of trying to replicate Southern Pan Fried Chicken.
I would love to hear what you may add to this list. Believe me….not a homemaker or restaurant chef would give up all of their recipe to me…just bits and pieces..they made it very difficult to learn. So my recipe is ever-changing as I discover a new secret.