Let’s Eat — A Writer’s Guide to Cooking

Okay, let’s fry some chicken. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it doesn’t have to be greasy unless you want it to be. We use our cast iron frying pan, because it can handle an entire chicken, and because using it gives us an immense amount of satisfaction. (As I’ve said before, we’re simple people.) But other frying pans will also do fine.

We fry the chicken in canola oil with three healthy blobs of bacon grease for added flavor. (We save our bacon grease in a coffee can.) There should be enough oil and grease to keep the chicken about half submerged. The oil should be good and hot, but not extremely so. We have an electric stove, and set the burner on the line between medium and medium-high. Now, as an interesting side-note, my wife’s father used to fry chicken in nothing but bacon grease. The result was tasty and potent — especially since he wasn’t too careful about draining the chicken afterward.

While the oil is heating, spread some flour on a large plate or a piece of wax paper. Sprinkle plenty of salt on both sides of the chicken. Then, add a nice dusting of garlic powder. Those are the only seasonings you need. Roll each piece of chicken in the flour so they have a good heavy coating. Don’t put the chicken in the pan until you’re sure the oil is hot enough. Drop a little of the moist flour from your plate or wax paper into the pan. If it immediately starts frying, the oil is ready. If it just sits there or barely bubbles, wait until it’s a little hotter and try again. If the grease isn’t hot enough, the chicken will absorb too much oil.

On average, frying time is thirty-five minutes. Larger pieces might take a little longer, smaller pieces a little less. Don’t turn the chicken too soon. Shoot for around fifteen minutes per side. In between, you can move the pieces a little to keep them from sticking in the pan, and to allow the oil to bubble freely in between. Toward the end, when both sides are done, turn the pieces once more to be sure the edges are done. This is more important if the oil level in the pan isn’t quite high enough.

That’s it. As you remove each piece, let it drain over the pan for a couple of seconds before putting it on the serving platter. The skin will be crisp and brown. If you are a fanatic about grease, you can blot the pieces lightly on a paper towel. Then again, if you are a fanatic about grease, you probably won’t be making fried chicken. But fried this way, we find the result to be not greasy at all, and the meat nice and light.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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