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The Ultimate Fried Chicken



No matter the meal, I always start by asking myself the question, “Who am I cooking for?” Pretty basic, but it gives me direction of what to do. Are they fancy? Do they like country-casual meals? Maybe barbecue is their favorite. Whatever the answer, it gives you a purpose when cooking. You will be amazed at what you will do for those you love. This Father’s Day, I was thinking of my father-in-law and hubby specifically. Both named Jack and lovers of a home-style fried chicken dinner served with loaded mashed potatoes and warm honey biscuits: simple but delicious. The perfect meal for two wonderful Daddies!

Fried chicken has been a staple in southern homes for over 100 years. Traveling through the South, you will find that fried chicken is cooked in a multitude of ways: double dredge, flour or self-rising flour, buttermilk soak or brine. The variations are endless. I mastered my recipe for the fried bird after taking numerous trips to Savannah and working with Paula Deen. Eating countless servings of fried chicken. Talking “bird” with every restaurant I visited. You might say I was on a quest for the ultimate fried chicken … and here are the results.

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1 whole chicken, cut up

1 can evaporated milk

3 c all-purpose flour

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t black pepper

2 t baking powder

peanut oil

1/2 c Crisco


Place the cut-up chicken in a large bowl and pour the evaporated milk over the top. Allow the chicken to soak in the milk for one hour in the refrigerator. Place the dry ingredients in a shallow pie pan and mix together. Heat a large cast iron skillet, filled halfway with peanut oil and Crisco, to 300 degrees.

To prepare the chicken, simply remove from the milk bath and dredge in the flour mixture. Place skin-side down in the hot oil, making sure that the oil covers the chicken completely, and do not overcrowd the skillet. Using metal tongs, flip the chicken to ensure that it gets an even golden-brown color. This will take 18-20 minutes. Once the chicken is done, place on a cooling rack to drain any excess oil. Serve with stuffed mashed potato casserole and hot honey biscuits!

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3-4 c leftover mashed potatoes

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 c crisp crumbled bacon

1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 c green onions

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

3 T unsalted butter, chilled

1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes and sour cream. Stir in the bacon, shredded cheese and green onions. Spoon into the baking pan. Prepare the topping by using a fork or your fingers to crumble together the butter, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until topping is browned and potatoes are bubbly.

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