Unabashed, Unashamed Southern Fried Chicken

Recipe adapted from New Classic Family Dinners by Mark Peel

Unabashed, Unashamed Southern Fried Chicken
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Unabashed, Unashamed Southern Fried Chicken, adapted from New Classic Family Dinners by Mark Peel
Servings
4
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 medium chicken (3½ to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 10 ounces lard
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions
  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and add the onion, garlic, buttermilk, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the celery leaves and parsley. Toss together, making sure the chicken pieces are thoroughly coated. Transfer to a plastic bag or cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat two-thirds of the lard over moderately high heat. Meanwhile, in a large brown paper bag, mix the flour with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the paprika and cayenne.
  3. Drain the chicken and remove any bits of onion stuck to it. Place the chicken in the bag, fold the top over and shake to coat the chicken.
  4. Insert a deep-fry thermometer into the melted lard. When the temperature reaches 375°, carefully add half of the chicken using tongs, making sure the pieces don't touch. Fry the chicken, turning the pieces every 3 or 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn down the heat to medium to let the inside of the chicken cook without burning the coating. The chicken is done when the outside is a dark, rich brown, about 20 to 25 minutes total.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and drain on paper towels or a paper bag. Add the remaining lard and cook the remaining chicken. If not serving right away, place the chicken on a wire rack set over a baking pan and keep warm in a 200° oven.
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