Get Hungry For Virginia Willis' Fried Chicken

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Y'all, it's time to get cooking. Learn how to make delicious fried chicken (smothered in gravy, of course) from Southern food expert Virginia Willis. You can get even more frying 411 in our class Southern Classics at Home .

Meme’s Fried Chicken

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • One 4-pound chicken, cut into pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups canola or peanut oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-fat, reduced sodium chicken broth, or 1 cup milk and 1 cup chicken stock or broth

To fry the chicken:

1. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. In a shallow plate, add the flower and season with cayenne, salt and pepper, and set aside.

3. Line a baking sheet or large plate with brown paper bags or several layers of paper towels.

4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until the temperature reads 375 F on a deep-fat frying thermometer.

5. To fry the chicken, start with dark meat. Dredge with seasoned flour until well coated on all sides. Shake to remove any excess flour, setting this flour aside for gravy.

6. Slip the chicken into the hot fat one piece at a time to prevent splatters. The fat should not quite cover the chicken, and you should adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the 375 F temperature. If necessary, use a splatter guard to contain the hot grease

7. Fry the chicken for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice. When the coating reaches a rich golden brown on all sides, reduce heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes at 165 F. Remove the pieces and place them on the prepared baking sheet to drain briefly before serving.

To make the gravy:

1. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour off most of the grease, leaving two or three tablespoons of oil and any browned bits.

2. Reduce the heat to very low, add the butter and cook until foaming. Add four tablespoons of the seasoned flour and stir to combine. Cook, whisking constantly, for two to three minutes or until golden brown.

3. Whisk in the stock and increase the heat to medium, bringing the mixture back to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until the gravy is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add more stock or water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Get Hungry For Virginia Willis' Fried Chicken