I’m so excited for this fall weather and all the yummy foods that go with it. I love making a yummy dinner of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and this recipe is slightly healthier than most fried chicken recipes because it uses whole wheat flour versus white flour. It’s better for you and you really cannot tell a difference whatsoever in taste.
The key to juicy and tender fried chicken is to marinate it in buttermilk. I usually marinate mine overnight in a ziplock bag that I place in a bowl in the refrigerator but if you start marinating the morning of the day you’re going to cook it that’s alright too. Pour just enough buttermilk in there to cover whatever you’re cooking. This recipe cooked 10 chicken thighs for me and I purchased one of those value sized Pilgram’s Pride chicken thigh packages which is roughly 2 1/2 lbs of chicken. You can substitute your favorite cut of chicken (breast, tenders, drumsticks, wings) in place of the thighs for this recipe. Whatever cut you get I highly recommend you get with skin and bone because the skin helps the batter stick and makes for a tastier crust. However, for a lower calorie idea use tenders which are boneless and skinless.
Roughly 2 1/2 pounds of your favorite chicken cut (this recipe used 10 thighs with bone/skin)
Buttermilk (I used 1/2 a quart to marinate all the thighs)
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon each of garlic salt, paprika, and pepper
Your favorite frying oil (I like to use sunflower oil because it’s better for you to fry foods in – see http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240753.php)
1. Pour enough oil in a pot or dutch oven so that it rises 1-1 1/2 inches from the bottom. Heat just slightly above medium heat on your stove top. If you’re the technical type with a thermometer you want to get the oil to 350 degrees. Note: you never want to pour oil more than halfway up whatever you’re frying in – this is how oil bubbles over and kitchen fires happen!
2. In a ziplock bag combine flour and seasonings and shake well. Once distributed place 3-4 pieces of chicken in the flour and shake well until chicken pieces are well covered with flour.
3. Once your oil is heated properly (I always dust a little flour mix into oil and see if it starts frying/bubbling since I never use a thermometer) get your chicken pieces ready to drop in by shaking off any excess flour. Place 3-4 pieces of chicken in and allow to fry for 10 minutes or so until you flip to the other side. You’ll want to make sure you’re not overcrowding your pan because this can cause the temperature to drop and then you won’t get a crispy crust. It will take anywhere between 15-30 minutes to fry your chicken based on the size and density of the pieces you’re cooking. For example, a chicken wing will be finished much faster than a chicken breast or thigh. Also whenever a bone is in the chicken it will take longer to cook as well.
4. Once your chicken is done (I always just take out a piece and cut into it to see if it’s done, but again if you’re the technical type with a thermometer the temp you’re looking for is 165 F) take out and place onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels to allow it to drain. Salt immediately with a pinch of salt and place in your oven at 200 F to keep warm. This will keep crust crispy if you’re cooking several batches of chicken before serving.