This is a piece I did for my friends over at Onward Reserve for their Gazette. Fun stuff…I thought you RCS readers would enjoy it as well:
Family recipes have a strange way of being a common denominator in childhood memories. When reflecting on memories growing up, it’s funny how comments like ‘Remember when Grandmother made (this or that)? Man it was good…’ One recipe that has stuck with my family is my Grandmother’s pan fried chicken.
Her talent in the kitchen is almost unmatched – when visiting, every morning started with a spoonful of lard to cook the eggs, and ended saving the bacon grease for the next meal. Most of the vegetables came from the garden in their back yard, and the meat came from the butcher down the street. They grew up in a very small South Carolina town, so everyone knew everyone – including the butcher. We’d call for chicken, and he already knew the amount.
Grandmother’s pan fried chicken is clearly the way God intended for chicken to be served. It is possibly the perfect food – served fresh out of the pan for dinner with rice and gravy for dinner, served cold for lunch, for tailgates, for family gatherings, or for events in town, she never seemed to make enough.
The good part about pan frying chicken is the thin, but crisp crust that forms on the outside of the meat from touching the pan. Deep fried chicken almost floats in grease, and usually has a lot more breading. While I won’t turn down fried chicken, I would choose pan fried seven days a week and twice on Sunday.
Here’s how she does it:
Salt and Pepper chicken pieces (bone in, skin on)
Refrigerate for two hours
Roll chicken in the flour mixture (2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper)
In an electric frying pan
Heat ½” Wesson oil on medium heat
Cook the breasts first, then the thighs, legs, and wings, turning regularly until internal temp is 165 degrees (and the juices run clear)
The icing on the cake? Make gravy with the drippings:
Drain the fat from the cooking grease
Add flour in the drippings until it turns golden brown
Add milk and stir until it turns to a gravy consistency
Serve over white rice. Instantly make friends.
Got a family recipe you’d like to share?