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Classic Southern Fried Chicken
© Con Poulos

Classic Southern Fried Chicken

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
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In The Help, the character Minny reveres Crisco, calling it "the most important invention in the kitchen since jarred mayonnaise." She uses Crisco to fry chicken to perfection, admiring the way the vegetable shortening "bubbles up like a song" as it cooks.

  1. One 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  2. 2 large eggs
  3. 1/2 cup whole milk
  4. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
  6. 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper, such as Lawry's
  7. 24 ounces solid vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
  1. Pat the chicken pieces dry and line a baking sheet with wax paper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Add the chicken. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the seasoned salt and seasoned pepper. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour and transfer to the baking sheet.
  2. In a 12-inch, cast-iron skillet, heat the vegetable shortening to 365°. Add all of the chicken and fry over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until deeply golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted nearest the bone registers 170°, 20 to 24 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Lighter dry rosés, which have the minerality of white wines and the berry-fruit flavors of red wines, are terrific with fried foods like this crispy chicken.