Now, I can't really tell you the last time I had fried chicken. Actually, I guess that's one of the benefits of having a food blog. I can look back and tell you exactly the last time I had fried chicken. It was in February when I made Chicken Etouffee. Since "fried" is not normally on my roster, I decided to only make two fried chicken legs and then bake the rest in the over using the same spice combination. Both came out delicious - except the fried version took MUCH less time to cook, and I forgot about the baked version. YIKES! No worries, though. I caught it before it burned and it tasted great!
Fried Chicken Made Easy
courtesy How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman
Submitted to I Heart Cooking Clubs: Caravan of Spice
2 legs of chicken, cleaned and patted dry
1. Dry the chicken well with paper towels. Heat at least 1/2 inch of the fat over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet, broad saucepan, or similar vessel with a lid. While it is heating, mix together the flour and seasonings in a plastic bag. Toss the chicken in the bag, 2 or 3 pieces at a time, until they are well coated with flour. Put them on a rack as you finish. (Or wait until the oil is hot, then toss the chicken with the flour one piece at a time and add the pieces directly to the fat one at a time.)
2. When the fat reaches 350°F, raise the heat to high and slowly but steadily add the chicken pieces, skin side down. When they have all been added (or, if you're working in batches, one batch), cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-high, and set a timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, uncover the skillet, turn the chicken, and continue to cook, uncovered, for 7 minutes.
3. Turn the chicken skin side down again and cook for about 5 minutes more, turning as necessary to ensure that both sides are golden brown. As the chicken pieces finish cooking (to check for doneness, remove one piece and cut into it close to the bone; the juices should run clear), remove them from the skillet and drain them on paper bags or towels. Serve hot, warm (keep warm in a low oven if you like), or at room temperature, with lemon wedges if desired.
Chili-Spiced Fried Chicken
Even more punch: Use neutral or peanut oil. Sprinkle the flour with 2 tablespoons each chili powder and ground cumin, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional), and some salt and pepper; omit the cinnamon. Serve with lime wedges.
Like this recipe? Check out last week's Mark Bittman recipe here.