Around here, we love fried chicken. On the bone, off the bone, strips, tenders, nuggets, you name a way, we love it. In testing out the Meat Church Chicken Fry Breading to make their Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwiches, we discovered that this is actually our favorite way to have just simple fried chicken at home. The extra spices give it flavor without heat, and the mix of flour and cornstarch in the fry breading gives it just the right amount of crispiness. As self-proclaimed fried chicken connoisseurs and experts, this is a winner winner chicken dinner!
First, find two shallow dishes (or plates that aren’t super flat), and mix together the dry ingredients (breading mix, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper) in one, and wet ingredients (milk and eggs) in the other. I find pie plates to be the easiest/ best for this, but paper plates also work well (they usually have a lip around the top, and then you can just throw it all away when you’re finished!).
Heat a few inches of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. If you want subjective evidence it is ready to go, use a candy thermometer, and it is good to go at 325-350 degrees. If you want objective, old school southern evidence, wet your fingers and flick the water droplets into the oil- if it bubbles and pops, it is ready.
The key to getting the chicken cooked through on the inside without burning the breading on the outside is using a thin sliced chicken breast. I buy the package of thin sliced chicken breasts from the grocery store, but if you want, you can buy the full, larger ones, and cut them in half yourself, or use a meat mallet to pound it out thinner. You are shooting for 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Once your oil is heated and ready to go, cover each chicken breast in the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, then back in the dry, then straight to the oil. The double breading will give it a better coating, and make it less likely to come off in the oil.
After 5-6 minutes on one side, flip it over and give it 5-6 minutes on the other side. It should be a deep golden color, and if it has space, it will likely float in the oil once it is ready. If you think it looks done at this point, I recommend removing it to a rack and testing the internal temperature. If that is above 165 at the thickest part, then it is good to go, or return it to the oil for a little longer.
I haven’t mastered homemade cream gravy just yet, so I’ll put my recipe below 😉 Happy eating! 🙂
Simple Southern Fried Chicken
- 3-4 thin sliced chicken breasts (can cut large chicken breasts in half, or pound thinner)
- 1 packet Meat Church chicken breading seasoning (can sub flour mixed with 1-2 T of cornstarch)
- 1 tsp paprika (heaping)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (heaping)
- 1 tsp black pepper (heaping)
- 1-2 eggs
- 1-2 cups milk
- 3-4 inches vegetable oil (depth depends on cooking pot, enough to submerge chicken breasts)
- Heat 3-4" of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat to 325 degrees.
- In a shallow baking dish or on a plate, whisk breading mix, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. In a separate dish, whisk together milk and eggs.
- Take each chicken breast and coat in the dry ingredients, then wet ingredients, then back in the dry ingredients. Drop in heated oil.
- Cook in heated oil for 5-6 minutes per side, until golden brown and 165 degrees internal temperature.