Treat Yourself Tuesday- Crispy Fried Chicken

IMG_2607What? This girl from the northeast is making fried chicken? Now southerners, don’t get upset with me. I’m not claiming to know everything about fried chicken, but I’ve found a pretty great recipe.

Now traditionally I do healthier food on this blog, but I also post a Treat Yourself Tuesday segment. The point of this is to allow yourself some freedom in food. Many people struggle with their perceptions of food. But we also need to be able to enjoy foods we love, without feeling guilty. So every once in awhile it’s ok to treat yourself.

Now we get to the fried chicken! Yes it is fried, but at least your getting a lot of good protein. Add some sauteed spinach on the side for vegetables (see below for a quick recipe), and you get a lot of nutrition. Most days you may want to opt for roasted chicken, but today we’re treating ourselves!

What You’ll Need:

  • One whole chicken broken down (You can either buy it that way or break it down yourself. Or you can do it yourself. Here’s how to break down a chicken.)
  • A lot of canola oil (make sure you have at least one whole bottle)
  • Flour (enough to coat an entire chicken)
  • At least one cup of buttermilk (or sour milk)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • cayenne
  • A large skillet (preferably cast iron)
  • A meat thermometer (so much easier to test the chicken)

Put the flour in a large bowl. Season generously with salt, pepper, paprika and a little cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl pour the buttermilk. Take the chicken, and rub some salt and pepper under the skin of the bird. Dip the pieces of chicken in the flour, then the buttermilk, then coat it in the flour a second time. Let the chicken sit for a few minutes until the batter turns into a paste on the chicken. This is important!

IMG_2604In your cast iron skillet pour the canola oil in so it will cover at least half of the chicken. Put the stove on high heat and let the oil get very hot (if it start smoking that’s too hot!! Don’t worry it won’t be at this heat the entire time) Drop in the chicken and brown on both sides. Once the chicken is browned, turn the temperature down to medium-low. The oil should still be boiling, but not as intensely. Cook for about 25 minutes to half an hour. Check all the pieces of chicken. The wings will cook much quicker than the breasts. If you’re worried about the wings overcooking, pull them out while like bigger pieces, like the breasts, cook. All of the chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees. When the chicken is cooked, turn the oil back up to high heat to crisp up again. Trust me this will make for some very crispy chicken.

Put the chicken on a metal rack to drain or cool. If you don’t have a metal rack don’t worry. I use a broiling pan. Anything that will allow the oil to drip off of it. You can use paper towels, but your chicken will not be as crispy.

For the side of spinach you’ll need:

  • 1 5 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup almond slices
  • a few dashes of salt
  • a few dashes of pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a pan over medium-high heat. Occasionally stir until the spinach has wilted. About 1-2 minutes.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s treat yourself Tuesday!

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