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Best Fried Chicken …. Ever

Read on the Internet that living in the country is less stressful than living in the city – although you couldn’t tell that the way this last week has gone. We’ve been sooooo busy. Went to visit some dear friends last week – had a grand time. Lots of laughs and some of Peggy’s delicious homemade apple pie. Then we went to Bryan to get new tires. Did you know that if your car has an electronic ‘reporting’ system (the kind used by Onstar) that when you have your tires replaced you have to have new gadgets put in at the same time they replace the tires – and then have it all calibrated. If not, the alarm will go off.

In fact, it took us longer to get the tires installed than planned, since there was the extra gadget step… not to mention the added expense! I mention this because if you take your car in for new tires, flat fixed, etc. – you better be sure the people doing the work know what they’re doing and have the right monitors to calibrate the system. I think that’s why I love my yellow Jeep – no gadgets, no power anything – just a nice plain car that you can drive. Everything is so complicated anymore!!!

I’ve been picking blueberries about every other day – along with black-eyed peas – but that’s about all I’m going to get this year. We didn’t get any plums to speak of thanks to the hail storm and the peaches have been snatched by the squirrels. They love to leave the pits on top of the fence for us to find – pesky rascals.

What with all this and a few other things in the mix for next week – I decided to cook up a batch of David’s favorite fried chicken tenders to have on hand for a quick meal – if needed. We used to buy chicken tenders from the deli at the store – or from a KFC – but he seems to like the ones I fix better and they are a lot cheaper to prepare. I usually fry up 2-3 breasts and freeze what we don’t eat. They re-heat easily and are also good in salads and sandwiches. I know the process looks a little long – but the chicken you’ll get will be light, crisp and moist.

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken tenders or boneless, skinless breast meat
  • Regular Flour
  • Seasoned Flour
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Egg(s)
  • Water or Milk
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying

I’ve not given any measurements because it depends on personal taste and on how much chicken you want to fry. 

Step 1

1-2 teaspoons of salt and enough cold water to cover the chicken. (This  ‘soak’ works with chicken for any recipe – keeps it really moist) Stir the salt into the cold water until dissolved and then soak the chicken for about 30 minutes. You can leave it out on the counter,  if the the chicken is frozen or put it in the fridge if the chicken is thawed. Main thing you do not want it to get warm or ‘room temp’.

Step 2

Remove the chicken from the soak and pat dry. I like to flatten my chicken between plastic wrap so it has an even thickness and then slice if needed to ‘fingers’. If you all like bigger pieces – you can leave whole.

Step 3

You’ll need 3 dishes for the dips. 1 for regular flour; 1 for the wet dip; and 1 for the final coating dip

  1. Regular flour
  2. Wet Dip: 1 egg and enough milk or buttermilk to make a smooth liquid. You may find you’ll need more than 1 egg depending on how much chicken you’ll be frying.
  3. Final Coating: 2 parts seasoned flour (buy at the store on flour aisle) and 1 part Panko crumbs (this gives it the crunch; same aisle as seasoned flour). If you don’t want the crunch but the more traditional fried chicken coating leave out the Panko.

Step 4

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. You want enough oil so the chicken pieces are half submerged.

Preparing to fry:

  1. Dip the chicken pieces in the first dip of plain flour and shake off excess.
  2. Next dip the chicken in the wet dip; making sure it’s totally wet. Remove using a fork (helps keep you hands clean)
  3. Place in third dip – coating – shake the bowl around making sure th chicken is totally covered with the flour/crumbs.
  4. Place in the hot oil and cook until golden brown; turn and cook until other side is golden brown. If it looks like the chicken is cooking too fast turn down the heat some. Try not to turn the chicken more than once and do not move it or poke with a fork if possible as this may to cause the coating to fall off and the juices to escape.
  5. Remove to plate lined with paper towels to drain.

That’s about it – once you’ve gone through the process, you can adjust the heat, coating, seasoning, etc. to your taste.

Freeze any left over chicken in a zip bag. It keeps well and re-heats in the microwave easily. Really good with honey-mustard dipping sauce.

IF you don’t like frying, this chicken could also be baked in the oven at 425 degrees until done – you’d need to check on doneness since baking time would depend on thickness of the pieces. If you do try baking it, I’d put it on aluminum foil that had been greased – this will help help keep it from sticking.

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