As my mother’s first-born, I am the only one of my siblings who has any substantial recollection of the cabinets in our childhood home aflame, my mother literally tossing my sister into the grass of the yard, and the neighbor dragging the garden hose from the yard, through the living room and into the kitchen to extinguish the danger before the sirens even arrived. Which is why, for me, fried chicken is a tad anxiety provoking despite its claim as the trademark of wholesome, down home, Southern hospitality.
Fortunately, my sister, perhaps a whopping 30lbs at the time, has no memory of flying through the air out the front door. Nor does she suffer from the same qualms about deep-frying in home kitchens.
Which is fortunate because fried chicken still always feels like a feast. And, I must admit, is steadily transforming into a symbol of sisterly generosity and the heroics of neighbors.
Brenna’s Fried Chicken
- 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
- Italian bread crumbs
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- vegetable oil for frying
- Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and paprika. Roll in bread crumbs.
- Add about 3/4 inch oil to a large, heavy skillet. Heat to approximately 365. Place chicken pieces in hot oil. Cover, and fry until golden, turning once, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels.