So after years and years of trying to pan fry chicken and failing I decided to really focus on the methods and techniques to beat my problems. It took 5 years of asking questions, listening, observing and many trials, errors and failures. I think I’m a slow learner. But then I figured it out and finally succeeded at developing a recipe that made a fried chicken that was not only edible but also very good. Now its seems as though I can pan fry chicken with my eyes closed, and they were closed. Why hadn’t I ever thought of combining the flavors I love from my native land, Southern California with the techniques I learned along my quest? So here it is, “Baja Fried Chicken” and I have to warn you, it’s just awesome.
- 4 to 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
- 1 1/2 cups Chipotle Crema Sauce, (see my recipe)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups flour, divided use
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp black pepper, divided use
- 2 tsp Mexican Oregano, ground
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- approximately 3 cups of Crisco Shortening depending on your skillet size
Place the chicken thighs in a gallon size zip lock bag and pour the Chipotle Crema Sauce over them. Smush them around to coat completely, refrigerate overnight to marinate.
The next day—
- Beat the eggs and set aside for an egg wash.
- Combine 1 cup flour, garlic salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper for the first flour dredge and set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
- In a second medium mixing bowl combine the remaining 1 cup of flour, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp black pepper, Mexican Oregano, cumin and salt for the final flour dredging.
- Preheat a large skillet over med-high heat. Place shortening in the hot skillet. When melted it needs to measure approximately 1/4″ high on the pan. If it doesn’t, add more.
- Take a chicken piece from the marinade and dredge through the first flour mixture. Making sure the flour mix covers the chicken piece completely. Shake off excess flour mixture.
- Then place that chicken piece in the beaten egg wash, again making sure the egg coats the chicken piece fully.
- Now taking that same piece of chicken and dredge it through the final flour mixture. Make sure the flour mixture completely coats the chicken and set the piece aside on a plate. Repeat steps 5, 6, & 7 for the other pieces of chicken.
- Preheat oven at 350. (Yes, although I am pan frying my chicken I am finishing it in the oven. Just like the Colonel did when he first started KFC)
- By now your pan should be good and hot over med-high heat. Place your chicken thighs into the hot skillet. The melted shortening now should rise half way up the thickness of the chicken. Without disturbing the chicken let them fry for 7 minutes on that first side. Then turn them over and fry 5 -7 more minutes on the second side. They should be deeply browned, but not burned.
- Place the chicken on a boiling pan.(you know the one with the slots for the grease to run to the bottom of the pan) and bake for 20 minutes. This 20 minute bake time is good for regular sized thighs, drumsticks and wings, if you are frying breast or bigger pieces of chicken the bake time may take between 20 and 40 minutes. This method ensures the chicken cooks thoroughly yet remains very juicy.
Suggestions: When frying more than 4 pieces of chicken I would suggest working in batches so that you never crowed the skillet.