Friday, July 6, 2012

Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 6, South Carolina

Today, July 6th, 2012 is National Fried Chicken Day. Okay, so it may not be the healthiest thing for you, but the Southern belles swear that the secret to perfectly fried chicken is as follows: soak your chicken overnight in buttermilk, the next morning season your flour (the spices you use are up to you) and be sure to dip your chicken in egg before your dredge it through the seasoned flour. Cook in oil until golden brown and you've got some darn good southern fried chicken. It's as American as apple pie! History has it that the perfection of the breaded and seasoned came about among the African slaves in the southern states and rumor has it that the Europeans have been eating fried chicken since the Middle Ages, though the actual idea of fried chicken came from Scottish immigrants who deep-fried their chicken in fat. This is the way my family use to make their fried chicken. In the summer time my grandfather use to fill large dutch-ovens full of lard and melt it down and fry the chicken in it. I loved to hear the sounds and smell the fantastic aromas of the mutton and chicken popping in the oil over the open fire. Today is also International Kissing Day, so be our guest and try some "lip-smacking" southern fried chicken and grits for dinner tonight! :)

Southern Fried Chicken


  • buttermilk
  • 4 - 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups shortening
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon  paprika
  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces


  1. The night before cut and wash chicken, place pieces on a large dripper pan (large cake pan) and cover with buttermilk. Let soak overnight. 
  2. Heat the shortening in a large, dutch-oven or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Beat eggs in large bowl. Pull chicken out of the buttermilk and dip in egg mixture.
  3. In a brown paper lunch bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Shake two chicken pieces in the bag to coat, and place them in the skillet. Repeat until all of the chicken is coated and in the skillet.
  4. Fry the chicken over medium-high heat until all of the pieces have been browned on both sides. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the lid, and increase heat to medium-high. Continue frying until chicken pieces are a deep golden brown, and the juices run clear.

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