Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Favorite Southern Pan-Fried Chicken
One of Dr. King's favorite foods - pan-fried chicken - as prepared by Chef Alexander Smalls.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2(3-pound) chickens, each cut into 8 pieces or 4 each legs, thighs, breasts, wings, rinsed with cool water and pat dry with paper towels
- For Marinade
- 2cups buttermilk
- 1tablespoon garlic powder
- 1tablespoon onion powder
- 1tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper
- For Frying
- Peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
- 3 ½cups all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
Step 1Gather the ingredients. Rinse the chicken pieces under cool water and pat dry.
Step 2In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, paprika, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the chicken and toss until coated.
Step 3Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Fry the chicken:
Step 4Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Place on a platter or plate (discard the marinade). Let the chicken come to room temperature. Meanwhile, gather the remaining ingredients.
Step 5Fill a large cast-iron skillet halfway with oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350 F.
Step 6Add the flour, salt, and pepper to a wide rimmed plate and. Stir to combine.
Step 7Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess and transfer to another plate or platter.
Step 8Once the oil has reached the right temperature , working in batches to avoid crowding the skillet, add the chicken and fry, undisturbed, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes (smaller pieces may need less time).
Step 9Turn the pieces and fry, undisturbed, until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 F, 5 to 6 minutes more (larger pieces may need more time). Adjust the heat to maintain the oil temperature, if necessary.
Step 10Drain on a crumpled brown paper bags, paper towels, or a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt as chicken drains. Serve immediately.