One of the most sublime delicacies on Earth is fried chicken. It's the lovely contrasting melange of crispy, crunchy crust and succulent tender chicken inside that is so enchanting to the taste buds. How to make easy fried chicken can be a little intimidating at first, but do not worry. Help is a quick read away.
Use quality ingredients
Always start with the freshest, best quality poultry. A two-pound chicken will feed about four people. You can cut up your own chicken, but precut parts are the easiest way to go. The chicken should be in similar-sized pieces for even cooking. If there are larger pieces, cut them in half with a very sharp knife.
Gather your supplies
Prepare a large frying pan that will fit the chicken with plenty of space. If you do not have enough room and chicken is crammed together, it will not fry up properly. It's better to make the chicken in two batches than to over stuff your frying pan.
Add vegetable shortening, peanut oil or other high-temperature oil to the pan. A couple inches of oil is plenty.
Have long tongs at the ready for handling the fried chicken and a spot for draining and holding the cooked fried chicken.
The coating is crucial
Combine flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder or other favorite seasonings. Herbs can be added as well. Try freshly minced parsley or basil for an Italian flair. For two pounds of chicken, two cups of flour should do the job and seasonings are to taste.
Hint: Taste your flour mixture. If it isn't seasoned well enough, it will be just as bland once you've cooked it.
Soak the clean chicken pieces in a bowl of ice-cold water (or buttermilk for a softer crust.) Dip your chicken in the flour mixture and shake off the excess. Alternate between the wet and dry when coating the pieces completely. You can even double dip your chicken for extra crispy fried chicken.
The easy fried chicken process
Add the coated chicken to the preheated oil -- about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful when working with the hot oil as it can spatter. Fry until crisp on one side. Turn the chicken and repeat the fry time on the second side. It takes approximately 10 to 14 minutes each side. Use a meat thermometer to be certain chicken is thoroughly cooked and about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain and let cool a bit before eating. Once you've mastered how to make easy fried chicken, you will always be minutes away from paradise.