As southern and as simple as the cast iron skillet it’s cooked in, this Old School Fried Chicken is a throwback to My grandma’s kitchen.
I’m a believer in a good brine. I love how the liquid carries flavor down to the bone. And how it helps to form an amazing crust by grabbing hold of the seasoned flour in layers. But I learned to fry chicken with just seasoned salt, flour, and shortening. And when I tell you that my auntie and grandma could fry some chicken good enough to make you dance, I mean every word. So I’m sharing this recipe that I’m calling an old school fried chicken because it reaches back to my cooking roots.
DIY Season All
And while I am sharing with you all how I learned to fry chicken, I am deviating just a bit in one step. I make my own seasoning mix. You could purchase a prepared spice blend like Morton’s Season All or Lawry’s but I prefer to make my own. The key to any great spice blend is grinding it all together. It creates a powder of unified flavor. I typically use my NutriBullet otherwise my mortar and pestle.
Throw back Shake-n-Bake
The ultimate throw back was using a brown paper bag. My grandmother would use a paper bag or a plastic shopping bag. And if she didn’t have either she would use the kitchen sink. My auntie sort of upgraded by using a ziploc bag. Either way the purpose was to make clean up easy. Unless you planned to use some of the flour for gravy, it would be thrown out anyway, so they used disposable paper or plastic.
In the early days, we used straight up leaf lard or Crisco. Eventually, my entire family started using liquid vegetable and canola oil. I typically use canola oil for most of my frying. I might do peanut oil on special occasions. But for this recipe sake, I took it back to good ole’ shortening. Heat and maintain at about 325-350 degrees for the perfect crunch.
My grandmother would fry her wings with the tip tucked behind the drum. It’s still one of my favorite parts to eat. She would make mac and cheese, spinach or green beans, and white bread. Hot sauce was never excluded. Man, a glass of red Koolaid would set the night off right! LOL. I hope you like this recipe as much I as I do. Let me know how much!
More Southern Classics
- 2 1/2-3 lb chicken wings
- 1 1/3 c all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper more or less to taste
- shortening or canola oil for frying
- In a spice grinder or blender, add all of the dry spices including sugar and parsley flakes and pules into a powder. Divide the seasoning in half.
- Using a bowl or shallow dish, place the wings in a single layer and sprinkle the remaining spices evenly over the pieces. Coat all sides. In a bowl or large brown paper bag, add the flour and half of the spices and mix well.
- Place the seasoned chicken pieces in to the flour then fold top. Grab the folded flap and the bottom of the bag to support and give the bag a good shake. The chicken should be well coated.
- Heat about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of oil in a cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom pan to 350 degrees. Shake off any excess flour before place 5-6 piece into the hot oil. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan. Fry the wings on each side for 6-7 minutes. Temperature should read 165 degrees before removing from the pan and draining on paper towels or on a wire rack.