Spicy Southern-Fried Chicken
A buttermilk marinade tenderizes the chicken and helps create a crisp, flaky
crust while frying.
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 3 1/2- pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups vegetable shortening
1. Make the buttermilk marinade: In a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag or a
large bowl with a tight-fitting lid, combine the buttermilk, mustard, salt, dry
mustard, cayenne, and black pepper. Add the chicken pieces andturn to coat. Seal
and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Prepare the chicken: Preheat oven to 150 degrees F. In a 13- by 9- by 2-inch
pan, whisk together flour, baking powder, dry garlic, and salt. Add chicken
pieces and turn to coat thickly. Let the chicken stand 10 minutes, turning
occasionally to recoat with flour. Shake off excess flour before frying.
3. Fry the chicken: In a 10- by 12-inch heavy-gauge skillet with a deep-fry
thermometer attached, heat the vegetable shortening over medium-high heat,
bringing it to 375 degrees F. In batches of four, fry the chicken pieces,
turning once when the coating is sealed and begins to brown — 3 to 4 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium to lower the temperature to 325 degrees F. Maintain
temperature and continue to fry, turning the pieces halfway through cooking time
until chicken is golden brown and cooked through —about 20 more minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat
the procedure for the remaining batches. Serve warm or at room temperature.