Have you ever had an inexplicable craving for something? A craving so strong that it's all you can think about? A craving for something you almost never eat and seldom, if ever, make? Well, that's what happened to me. I hadn't reread Gone with the Wind or passed a Popeye's or heard The Battle Hymn of the Repubic, but out of nowhere I began to think it was the perfect weather for a piece of crispy fried chicken. I can't remember the last time I made fried chicken. In fact, it's been so long since I used my deep fryer that it's way in the back of the closet over the stove. The closet I can only reach by standing on a chair. Once the craving hit, nothing would do but to put it on the rotation. I happen to love buttermilk fried chicken and, since this was right after Thanksgiving, I already had a wonderful gravy. That, of course, meant that I had to make some more mashed potatoes. My craving was satisfied after a thigh and a leg, so Larry had plenty of leftovers for lunch and for dinner the night I ate out with friends.
Serves 4 - 6
1 - 3 lb chicken cut into 8 - 10 pieces
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
- place chicken pieces in a gallon-sized, ziplock bag; mix the buttermilk with 1 tbs salt and 1/2 tsp pepper; pour in buttermilk, seal, and refrigerate for 2 - 24 hours
- place the flour, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper in a large brown paper bag and shake to combine
- lift half the pieces of chicken from the buttermilk mixture into the bag and shake to coat completely
- remove from bag and place on a large wire rack set over a baking sheet until you are ready to fry; do the other half of the chicken in like manner
- spoon enough shortening into a 12 inch skillet to measure about 1/2 inch; heat to 350 degrees
- drop chicken, skin side down, into hot oil; COVER and cook for 5 minutes; after 5 minutes, lift with tongs to make sure pieces are frying evenly, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes
- turn chicken over and cook, UNCOVERED, for another 10-12 minutes
- drain on paper towels and serve
Any kind of fried food is a rare treat. While most people think of fried chicken as a summer dish, I must tell you it tasted wonderful in the dead of winter with creamy mashed potatoes with my leftover turkey gravy. Giving in to one's cravings every once in a while is a wonderful treat.