Thursday, December 26, 2013

Mom's Fried Chicken Recipe

This is the way our Mom made her beloved “burnt bone” fried chicken, as we always called it.   As I said in my introduction post, I don’t know where the term “burnt bone” came from, because Mom never burned it, lol.   But she often used silly-sounding phrases for fun, so that’s probably it.  

Putting this down in writing into an actual “recipe” which people can follow was a little bit difficult for me…   My Mom never used a recipe for this, so neither did I.  She just taught me to “eye-ball” everything.   I had cooked it so many times over the last 10 years, everything just started coming natural to me, and I never paid attention to time or measurements, lol.   Trial and error too, sometimes I would mistakenly use the wrong kind of chicken and it did not end well.  More about that down below...

But for the sake of sharing, I decided to pay more attention this most recent time I made it (in the picture above), so that I could show the whole process to other people.  Its not a complicated recipe at all, one of the most simple in the world, to be honest.   Mom believed in simplicity for fried chicken, and we grew up loving it!  I guess the only “hard” part is getting a feel for when its done right.  But that comes with a little practice.  Its really more about the KIND of chicken, and the WAY its cooked, rather than the ingredients.  

**Note:  For fried chicken, always buy “Broiler-Fryers”.  They are young chickens weighing from 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds. Only 7 to 10 weeks old, they yield tender, mildly flavored meat and are best for frying and roasting.  If you use any other kind of chicken, it may come out tough or chewy, with a bad skin texture.  My Mom normally used thighs, but this also works for every part of the chicken.  If you use boneless, the cooking time may be slightly shorter.

Mom's Fried Chicken:


4 to 8 pieces of fryer-broiler chicken (wings, breast, drumstick or thigh, skin on or off)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
Salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste
Oil for frying


1.  In a large skillet (heavy bottom is best, thin pans tend to burn) over medium-high heat, pour enough oil in the skillet to make it about ¼ inch deep.   Let the oil heat up while you work.

2.  In a large bowl, pour in the flour and add all the raw chicken pieces to the bowl.  Toss them around to coat them thoroughly in the flour.  You can also do this 2 or 3 pieces at a time in a large plastic freezer zip bag, and shake it to coat the chicken.  Allow the chicken to rest in the flour for a few minutes.  Then remove the chicken from the flour and set it on a plate or some wax paper, but DO NOT shake off the excess flour. 

3.  One by one, carefully lay each piece of chicken into the hot-oiled pan.  DO NOT stir or move the chicken at this point.  Doing so does not keep it from sticking-- instead it rubs the flour off when its too soft and moist, causing it to come off the chicken and stick to the pan.  Simply leave the chicken in its place until a crispy skin forms.  Do not crowd the pan, only have 4 pieces in at a time. 
Sprinkle the top side of the chicken with salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste. 

4.  Fry the chicken for about 5 minutes WITHOUT flipping, or until a crispy skin forms on the bottom. This helps to seal in the juices and prevent sticking later on.   Do not use a lid, or you will steam the chicken instead of frying it, which can cause the skin to come off. 

5.  Carefully turn the chicken pieces over onto the other side, sprinkle the cooked side with salt, pepper and garlic to taste.   Fry for 5 minutes, or until a crispy skin forms on the bottom. 

6.  Flip the chicken back onto the first side, and reduce your heat to between medium and low.  Slow-fry the chicken on this heat for an additional 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces you are using.  Flip them again every 10 minutes.  Chicken is done when it feels firm and no red or pink blood leaks out the ends.

7.  Transfer chicken to a plate lined with paper towels or a kitchen towel, to drain.   Serve with your favorite sides—I suggest mashed potatoes and gravy with your favorite vegetables :) 

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