Crispin’ & Crunchin’ Fried Chicken

Ah, fried chicken. My forever love.

I don’t think anything delights me more than the sound, the smell and taste of a perfectly fried piece of chicken. I’ve been asked before what I would eat if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life—that answer is fried freaking chicken!

It has to be done well though. I’ve eaten my fair share of fast food fried chicken in my day, and the king of fast food fried chicken is Popeyes. Hate me if you want, but that’s the truth. The seasoning is always on point, and the crunch is even more on point.

As a kid, I ate it on a weekly basis. It was a family favorite—and still is to this day. I used to think it was so hard to make… I actually thought anything that involved deep frying was difficult to make. In actuality, it’s not! It just takes a little time, patience and dishes!

Below is my go-to recipe for fried chicken—adapted over the years from research and influences. The latest? Potato chips, courtesy of Snoop to the Dogg.

Fried chicken babies served with the other breakfast classic—bacon!

Prep Time: 2.5 hours Cook Time: 40 minutes Serves: 3

What You’ll Need

  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 1 c milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice (sitting for at least 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 c hot sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1/2 crushed potato chips (I used jalapeño-flavored kettle chips!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch cayenne powder
  • 2-4 c canola oil (enough to fill at least 4 inches of the pot you’re frying the chicken in)

How You’ll Do It

  1. Pat your chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, hot sauce, 1 tsp salt and pinch of pepper.
  3. Put all your drumsticks in the bowl, making sure they’re fully submerged. (If not fully submerged, then you can flip the drumsticks halfway through marination period.) Cover the bowl, and let the chicken marinade in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  4. After the chicken has been fully marinaded, take the bowl out of the fridge. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, potato chips, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Make sure you mix well.
  5. Set up a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. This is where you’re drumsticks will rest. One by one, take the drumsticks out of the milk marinade and dunk it into the flour mixture. Make sure you cover all the bits and pieces. When fully coated, place on the cooling rack to rest. Do this will all the drumsticks and then let them rest on the cooling rack for about 30 minutes.
  6. While the chicken drums are resting, heat up the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. You can use a thermometer and set it at 350° F if you’d like. I just play it by ear and keep it around medium.
  7. When you’re ready to fry, place your drums in the pot. Don’t overcrowd them! I had to do mine in two batches. Cook each side for about 10-12 minutes or until a beautiful golden brown. If you feel like it’s browning too fast, turn the heat down a notch. If you feel like it’s browning too slowly, turn the heat up a notch. You are the king of your castle—own it!
  8. Once all your chicken is done frying, serve them as you please! I had these with waffles… a classic!
Serving up fried chicken with fluffy waffles and a fruit salad.

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