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I have a list of my all-time top favorite foods, and my mother’s (Jordan’s grandmother’s) fried chicken is my number one fave. I think it is the favorite food of every member of my family. Whenever I visit my parents, my mom knows to always serve up a meal of fried chicken and its “fixin’s.” Recently I decided it was time to learn how to make that famous and delicious fried chicken, and you are the lucky ones today because I am sharing it with you. We might all get the ingredients for Grandma’s fried chicken recipe, but it might not taste just like hers. After all, she will have her 88th birthday in a few weeks and has fried a lot of chicken. She will always have that magical touch, but we can do our best.
First off, she always buys the chicken pieces with bones in and skin on. Her most favorite parts to fry are the connected thigh and leg or the breast. Today I am using the thigh-leg combo. The first thing she does is soak the raw chicken in salt water for one or two hours. This brine helps flavor the bird. Then she removes the skin and blots the chicken with a paper towel.
For the crust/coating, she combines equal parts of corn meal and all purpose flour and then adds seasoning salt. I mixed a cup of flour with a cup of cornmeal and added one tablespoon of the seasoning for six servings.
Then she heats an iron skillet on medium heat and adds equal amounts of cooking oil and butter. I used 1/2 cup of each. When the butter is melted, she knows it’s time to fry.
She coats the chicken on both sides with the flour/corn meal mixture and then puts it in the skillet.
She then browns the chicken on both sides on medium to medium high heat.
When both sides are nicely browned, she turns the heat to simmer, and puts a lid on the skillet. Then the chicken fries (simmers) slowly till it is done. The time will vary depending on the size of the pieces. She knows by looking when it is done, but I used a meat thermometer and knew the chicken was almost ready when the thermometer read 175 degrees. Then I let it fry about five minutes more.
When it was time for dinner, I served Uncle Ben’s® Long Grain and Wild Rice Fast Cook version as a side. The combination of its 23 herbs and seasonings paired perfectly with Grandma’s fried chicken.
I bought it at my neighborhood Kroger store which just happens to be new and wonderful. I swear that this store has made me a better cook. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and whenever I have a question about a purchase or how to cook a certain item, someone there always has the answers. It is a one-stop shop for meal planning. You can find your local Kroger here.
The Uncle Ben’s® products are found in the rice and beans section of Kroger.
The Uncle Ben’s® Long Grain and Wild Rice is ready in just five minutes, so when I was letting the chicken cook those extra few minutes, I was able to completely prepare the rice from beginning to end.
It tasted delicious with the chicken, and even Mr. Right commented on how well the the two complimented each other. To round out the meal, I added sliced tomatoes from my friend’s garden and baked an acorn squash. It was a perfect meal at the end of a beautiful fall day.
GRANDMA’S FRIED CHICKEN
6 leg and thigh combos
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup butter
Fill a bowl large enough to hold the chicken with salted water and soak the chicken for two hours. Then remove the skin and pat it dry. Heat oil and butter in a heavy frying pan 325 degrees. Meanwhile, combine corn meal, flour and seasoning salt in a pan. Dredge chicken with the mixture and place in the hot oil. Brown on both sides. Then put the temperature on low and cover with a lid. Let the chicken cook slowly (simmer) till it is tender and cooked through. Then eat and enjoy.