The late chef Austin Leslie of New Orleans's Chez Helene and Pampy's Creole Kitchen was famous for this fried chicken, which is pleasantly sweetened with condensed milk. And the crust, fried in lard, is spectacularly crisp. The recipe is adapted from John T. Edge's Fried Chicken.
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1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, breasts cut in half through the bone
3 pounds all-natural lard (see Note)
One 14-ounce can condensed milk
1 cup water
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 dill pickles, thinly sliced crosswise
How to Make It
In a small bowl, mix the salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. On a platter, sprinkle the chicken with the seasonings. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
In a large, deep saucepan fitted with a deep-frying thermometer, melt the lard and heat it to 325°. In a large bowl, whisk the condensed milk with the water and egg. Pour the flour into a large paper bag. Working with 2 or 3 pieces of chicken at a time, dip them in the milk mixture, add them to the flour and shake to coat. Tap off any excess flour and transfer the chicken to a rack while you coat the rest.
Line another rack with paper towels. Add the chicken to the hot lard and fry until deeply golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meat registers 155° for white meat and 165° for dark meat, about 12 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary to keep the lard at 325°. Drain the fried chicken on the rack. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with the parsley, garlic and pickle slices. Serve right away.