Cutting the chicken into 10 pieces instead of the more typical eight results in smaller, easy-to-hold pieces with more crispy, crusty goodness.–Donald Link
LC How to Handle Size-D Breasts Note
How brilliant is that aforementioned trick of cutting each breast in half?! Not only does it make for smaller pieces with more surface area—hence more of that coveted Cajun-y coating—but it ensures today’s size D-cup chicken breasts cook relatively quickly, circumventing the problem of the coating becoming too burnished while waiting for the meat to cook through. Brilliant.
Cajun Fried Chicken Recipe
Hands-On Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes, not including marinating) | Serves 4 to 6
- One 3- to 4- pound chicken, whole or pre-cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5 dashes Louisiana hot sauce
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken well
- 3 cups lard, vegetable shortening, or bacon drippings
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1. Pat the chicken dry. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces instead of the usual 8. To create the extra two pieces, cut the breast off the backbone, and then cut each breast in half, which will give you two wings, two thighs, two legs, and four pieces of breast. (Editor’s Note: You really must partake of this nifty little trick.) Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and season with the salt, pepper, cayenne, white pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce, and toss to coat evenly. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day (the longer the better, to allow the seasonings to permeate the meat).
- 2. Remove the chicken from the dry spices, allowing any liquid to drip back into the bowl, and place the chicken in a clean bowl. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken.
- 3. Heat the lard, vegetable shortening, or bacon fat in a large cast-iron skillet to 350°F (176°C), or until a pinch of flour sizzles when it’s dropped in the fat.
- 4. As the oil heats, remove the chicken from the buttermilk, allowing any excess liquid to drip off, and transfer the chicken to a clean bowl. Sprinkle with the flour and toss to coat.
- 5. When the oil is ready, add the chicken pieces to the skillet in batches, shaking off any excess flour before adding them to the oil. Start with the larger bone-in cuts in the first round, as they will take longer to cook. Then fry the chicken breasts in the second round. For the crispiest results, it’s important not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the first batch of chicken about 8 minutes on each side, using tongs to turn it as necessary, making sure the oil does not get too hot. The oil should have a mellow sizzle, not a raging boil, or it will make the outside of the chicken too dark before the inside is cooked. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. The breasts will take about 6 minutes on each side. Don’t be in such a rush to eat the chicken right out of the fat; it’s too hot, for one thing. And if you let it sit for a few minutes, the juices will settle and it will be more pleasurable to eat.
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Cajun Fried Chicken Recipe © 2009 Donald Link. Photo © 2009 Chris Granger. All rights reserved.