There is no wrong way to make fried chicken. Sure, there are worse ways and better ways and some best practices that are worth observing, but to be honest, as long as you do the frying part correctly, it’s kinda hard to mess up fried chicken:
A juicy protein encased by a savory, crispy shell will always be worth your time, and you don’t even need to turn on your oven! Yet there can be a joy in the journey, and it’s how we get to that finished product that matters the most.
Each time I make fried chicken, I am trying to recreate one of my earliest food memories. (Yes, you are about to get a grandma story, but it’s a good and a delicious one, and it ends with fried chicken.) When I was a kid, I spent a few weeks each summer on my grandparents’ farm in Alabama.
Depending on how you look at it, this was either a terrific opportunity for me to spend time immersed in nature and bond with my extended family, or a chance for my parents to take a vacation without me. Either way, I enjoyed it, despite my grandfather waking me up at sunrise every morning to help him set out salt blocks for his cows.
At the end of the day, my grandmother, Nana Carolyn, would fix a hearty supper, and one night she promised us fried chicken. Plot twist: When she went to the pantry to grab flour to dredge the chicken, she realized she was out of flour. Since the closest grocery store was 15 minutes away, she improvised by crushing a bag of potato chips to use as a breading. (And yes, it tasted amazing.)
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