Welcome to Life at the Holman's.


Within this blog, you will find everything from recipes to school ideas to everyday fun stuff and things we have learned along the way. From time to time you will find just a chronicle of our journey here in Oklahoma. Enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

What's for Dinner? - Fried Chicken

Mmm, Mmm, Finger Lickin’ Good…
Fried chicken is one of the meals that I have definitely had to learn over time.  When we were first married, I actually tried to make fried chicken for my husband.  The only real comment he made was, “You know, you don’t have to make fried chicken for me.”  Of course, I knew what he really meant…Please do not attempt this meal again.  I have to admit that it was not very good. 

Several months ago, I decided to start looking for KFC style fried chicken copy-cat recipes.  Of course, with the Colonel’s "secret spices," it was really hard to re-create.  I found several recipes and sort of put them all together to come up with my own favorite fried chicken recipe.  Now my family actually requests fried chicken.  Here goes…
KFC Copycat Fried Chicken
Ingredients:
Oil for frying
1 egg beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
½ to1 Tbsp. salt (add to personal preference)
2 tsp. black pepper
10-14Chicken Legs

Directions:
1.  Combine the egg and milk in a bowl.  Place the chicken in the mixture and allow it to soak for a couple of minutes while you are heating the oil. 
2.  Place about 1 inch of oil in a counter- top electric skillet.  You can also use the stove top and a large skillet.  I just prefer to use the electric skillet because it keeps the heat of the oil regulated.
3.  Heat the oil until it reaches 350°. 
5.  Mix flour, salt, and pepper together in a separate bowl. 

5.  Place the milk-soaked chicken in the flour mixture to coat. 
6.  Place the flour-coated chicken in the hot oil. 
6.  Allow the chicken to fry untouched until you can see it turning a golden brown around the edges (5-7 minutes). 
7.  Once the chicken has begun to brown, turn the chicken and allow to brown on the other side. 
8.  Allow the chicken to cook until the juices run clear, turning it occasionally for even browning (about 25-35 minutes for chicken legs, longer for other larger pieces of meat).
9.  Serve hot with mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, green beans, corn, and homemade biscuits!

Tips:
  • To check the readiness of your oil, toss in a pinch of flour.  If the oil is hot and ready, you can begin carefully placing your chicken in the hot oil. 
  • Make sure you to not turn the chicken too soon or the breading will begin falling off.  You must wait to move the chicken until you see the brown forming. 
  • I usually use the thickest piece of meat to cut into and make sure the meat is cooked all the way through.  
  • If you like the extra crispy style chicken, dip the chicken in the egg mixture a second time and then dip it in the flour again.  This will produce a thicker, crispier breading.
  • Money saving tip: Since my whole family likes fried chicken legs, we purchase the 10 lb. back of chicken from the grocery store (about $6.80) and use the chicken legs for fried chicken and save the thighs for other meals.  We usually end up getting about 12-14 legs in a bag.  A 10 pound bag of chicken can then be spread over 3-4 meals for our family of 4.  It makes for fairly cheap meals!
Some of the actual KFC copy-cat recipes that I found actually have you use a pressure cooker for cooking and tenderizing the meat.  When I first started trying out the various recipes, I did use my pressure cooker.  It does a great job at cooking the meat, and it creates a tender, fall-off-the-bone result.  We still use the pressure cooker method occasionally, but I have found that it has a bit more clean up and must be watched a lot more carefully.  So, while we do enjoy the pressure cooker method, I usually opt for the electric skillet. Below is the directions for cooking the chicken using the pressure cooker. 

Pour oil in to pressure cooker (enough to cover chicken when frying – about 2-2 ½ inches).  Heat the oil to 400 °.  Put 4-5 prepared pieces of chicken in oil and lock lid in place (I have a very large pressure cooker/canner style so I actually do all the chicken at one tine).  Once the steam begins to come through the pressure release valve, set timer for ten minutes.  DO NOT PUT THE WEIGHTED TOPPER ON THE PRESSURE COOKER!  Turn of the heat to the pressure cooker, release the pressure, remove the lid, and take out the chicken to drain.  Make sure you do not leave the chicken sitting in the pressure cooker for too long after you turn off the heat or it will become soggy.