19 November 2015

Southern Fried Boneless Chicken

Southern Fried Boneless Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com

My Southern grandmother made the world's best fried chicken, and I used to make it her way (never turned out as good as hers, of course). But then a few people came into my life who don't like bone-in chicken (or dark meat) and will only eat boneless skinless chicken breasts. 

So I had to develop a recipe that would put the flavor of Grandma's fried chicken into bland boneless skinless chicken breasts. Of course, Grandma would be appalled that anyone would not be using the whole chicken.

Grandma didn't always just quickly and efficiently cut up a whole chicken. When my father was a boy, she would step out the door of her farmhouse kitchen, grab a live chicken and take care of business, baby! Well, you know I'm all about carrying on family food traditions, but you won't be seeing that here at Delightful Repast! 

I have a huge skillet that could handle all the chicken in one batch, but then I'd have to use twice as much oil. So I use a 12-inch flare-sided skillet and fry it in two batches. The oil only needs to be about 1/4-inch-deep. No need to deep-fry. Measure the oil into the pan so that next time you'll know how much oil to put in the pan without getting out your ruler.

How about you? Do you prefer bone-in or boneless chicken? Dark or white meat? Either is fine with me, as long as there's plenty of Grandma's cream gravy!


Southern Fried Boneless Chicken / www.delightfulrepast.com



Southern Fried Boneless Chicken


(Makes 6 Servings)

The Chicken

1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355ml)  buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Tapatio)
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 16 pieces

The Coating

1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces/213 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon marjoram

1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves

About 1/2 to 3/4 cup organic canola oil (to a depth* of 1/4 inch in skillet)

* Pans vary. The first time you make this, measure oil into pan 1/4 cup at a time and use a ruler to measure the depth. Next time, use the same pan and just measure the same amount of oil into the pan; no need to get out the ruler. This may sound overly meticulous, but it will keep you from wasting oil.

The Gravy

(Makes about 2 cups)

3 tablespoons pan drippings
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup lower sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 In 1.5-quart bowl, stir together buttermilk, salt and hot sauce. Add chicken to bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 10 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes before coating and frying. That's so the chicken won't be super cold and bring down the temperature of the oil too much.

2 In 8x8x2-inch baking dish, whisk together flour, cornstarch, paprika, pepper, salt, marjoram and thyme leaves. Remove chicken, a few pieces at a time, from the buttermilk and place them in the coating mixture, coating them well on all sides. Place coated pieces on a wire rack.

3 Pour oil into 12-inch skillet to a depth of 1/4 inch. When the oil is very hot,* 350F/180C, use tongs to gently lower half the chicken pieces into the hot oil. Cook for 7 minutes, until golden brown; turn and cook another 7 minutes. During cooking, try to keep the oil between 250F/121C and 300F/149C; this keeps moisture in, and oil out of, the chicken. An instant-read thermometer inserted to the center of one of the larger pieces should register 165F/74C. Drain on wire rack (not the same one that had raw chicken on it, unless you wash it) set in a baking sheet. Blot surface with paper towel. Repeat for second batch, first making sure the oil is up to temperature. You can keep the first batch warm on the wire rack in baking sheet in a preheated 200F/93C oven.

* If you don't have a good instant-read thermometer, you need to get one. I use it all the time: oil, caramel, candy, egg mixtures, roasts, steaks, chops, fish, poultry ... You'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

4 Pour off pan drippings, and measure 3 tablespoons back into pan. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in milk and broth. Turn heat to low and continue stirring until gravy is thickening. Stir in salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until it's the consistency you like. If it's too thick, add milk or broth a tablespoon at a time until it's just the way you like it. Taste and adjust seasoning.

51 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

It has been AGES since I made or had fried chicken. Yours looks so beautiful golden brown and crisp. Thanks for sharing, Jean.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Your chicken dish looks so good and thanks for sharing the recipe!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thank you! I love the crispiness most of all!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Julie! It's good old-fashioned comfort food.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Boneless and skinless here. Yeah, I’m a breast man. No point in decimating the whole carcass. I leave that to the elements and eternity. I may be micro-focused (depends on the size of the breasts), but that’s my sovereign territory! Couldn’t possibly make it in two batches, because part of the recipe is that it must be eaten within a couple of minutes of cooking consummation. There is, after all, a point of perfection between taste, texture, smell and visual appeal. Notice that “sound” does not get in there, and on that score I yield to your grandmother, who no doubt heard a great deal between when she grabbed that chicken in the yard and the point of incineration on top of the stove. Love, love, your comprehensive style of telling this recipe. Cluck, cluck.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Too funny, Sully! But I beg to differ about "sound." It definitely should "get in there," and I'm not talking about in the barnyard! You should be able to hear the crunch when you bite into a piece of properly fried chicken.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Point taken!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I knew it would be!

Margaret-whiteangel said...

There would be nothing as tasty as your grandmother's chicken - fresh, very fresh, only way to go back then.
I prefer bone in the chicken, and I like both white and red meat..
Along with seafood of course.

Cranberry Morning said...

Thanks for sparing us the fowl execution, Jean. Lol. If our grandmas could see how much easier food preparation is now! This chicken dinner looks wonderful. I will definitely be making this recipe. And all-natural boneless, skinless chicken breasts is the only chicken I buy.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margaret, I need to do more with seafood. I only eat fin fish, and usually when we dine out. But once in a while I think to cook it at home.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! Do let me know how it turns out for you. And you may count on me to *always* "spare you the fowl execution"!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Yummm, Jean! I am definitely trying this one. Always love the family tradition in the recipes! Sue

Tony Grant said...

Yes, I agree, eating is a sensual experience.
But just suppose, if you were deaf and blind would that mean you can't enjoy food as much as somebody with the full compliment of senses?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, thank you! I hope you'll try it soon!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

No, not at all, Tony. We all experience things with our individual gifts and circumstances. Some people who have the full complement of senses are unable to appreciate things.

Bonnie said...

Oh you've taken me back to my own childhood. My mother's fried chicken was amazing. I always her to show me her secret, but she always said I first needed to learn how to cut-up a chicken first. I always made a Hugh mess. Consequently my fried chicken never matched hers. I cook both skinless/boneless and skin on/bone in. Thanks for the memories and the recipe! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

And thank you, Bonnie, for sharing your own fried chicken story! I'm not much good at cutting up a whole chicken either!

ellen b said...

Hi Jean, I hope you don't mind me answering your question from my blog here but yes the tin box behind the cookies is a bread box that I bought in England (Cotswolds) in 2014.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

No problem, Ellen. But I already went back to your blog for the answer! I want one of those!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Good morning Jean,
My grandmother 'took care of business' the same way! I watched many times from the beginning to the end. Sometimes I felt sorry for those birds but they sure tasted good with dressing and gravy! I prefer boneless and white meat. Thanks for sharing. Your fried chicken sounds wonderful!

Autumn blessings,
Sandi

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandi, thank you. Grandmothers in those days were a sturdy lot, weren't they?!

The Charm of Home said...

That looks delicious! I just made chicken and gravy last night. Thanks so much for joining me for tea therapy!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Jean,
Your Fried Chicken looks amazing! Wishing you and your family a bountiful Thanksgiving and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sherry, thank you! Don't you just love chicken and gravy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you! And I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful time together.

April J Harris said...

Your Southern Fried Boneless Chicken looks amazing, Jean - really moist and crunchy too! My family all prefer white meat and no bones so this is a great recipe for us. I must admit, I am in awe of the women who used to raise chickens and deal with them right up to cooking the way your grandma did! Like you, it isn't something I could do though! Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, April! I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turned out for you. I always think of Grandma when I make it and wish I'd had her around longer.

Jann Olson said...

My family loves fried chicken, but I don't make it very often. We love the crispy coating on the outside. Yours looks delicious and I will be trying it Jean! Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jann! Yes, the crispy coating on the outside is what fried chicken is all about!

..."E"... Beth Edwards said...

i love chicken. i will definitely try a new one. thanks for the recipe. i will go look around a bit. have a Happy Thanksgiving!! ( :

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Beth! And I do hope you like it and you'll let me know how it turns out for you.

Mildred said...

Hi Jean and blessings to you today. The chicken looks so delicious. John and I both have fond memories of Sunday lunch with Grandmother with chicken and gravy!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mildred, I was just thinking of you not more than 20 minutes ago! Thank you for sharing your and John's Grandmother memories.

Sippity Sup said...

Fried chicken in all forms make me happy. The great thing about boneless fried chicken is sandwiched with lots of crunch. GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Greg, yeah! Gotta have that crunch!

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

Your description of your grandmother and her fried chicken could also describe my mom and hers. It was the best and I used to run to the house and hide when she was getting ready to kill a chicken. Anyway, I love the seasonings in this recipe. And I'm all about flour only (plus seasonings) for fried chicken. Some coatings just seem to get to be too much. Thanks for sharing.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Lea Ann, I'd have to run to the house and hide, too! I so agree with you about coatings that are just too much. Thank you!

Mama Kautz said...

This looks amazing! I can practically taste it! Thank you for linking up with the Homesteaders Blog Hop!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mama Kautz, thank you so much! Love the hop!

TexWisGirl said...

that looks delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, TexWisGirl!

Ashley said...

Hi! Thanks for linking up to last week's Tasty Tuesday linky. I have pinned your recipe to the Creative K Kids Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board. I hope you'll join us again this week with something tasty.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ashley, thank you! Your Pins are much appreciated.

Bernideen said...

Oh Jean - I can just taste this - fabulous!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Bernideen! I'm making it this weekend for some friends, at their request.

Michelle Nahom said...

I haven't made fried chicken in forever, but my oldest son loves it! I definitely want to try your recipe! It looks so good!!

Bonnie Von Dohre said...

Looks delicious. I do love fried chicken. I use my cast iron skillet and lard. I haven't tried corn starch in my breading though. I'll have to try it.

Thank you for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Bonnie, thanks! I often wish I had my dad's cast iron skillet. It was ancient and he took the best care of it, so it was smooth as glass.

Anonymous said...

Tried this tonight was delicious.. The ingr2edients were different when u read the recipe. So i wung it. used the poulytry seasoning. will make again. Thanks

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Anonymous, thank you. AND thank you for pointing out that difference! I went in and changed the directions to match the ingredient list. Even though, as you found out, the poultry seasoning works fine as well!

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