Although eating fried chicken might cause concern for the health conscious, panfried chicken actually absorbs very little oil; for example, eight servings of chicken (two per person) absorb only about 2 3/4 tablespoons of oil. Serve the chicken with a scoop of coleslaw and a glass of lemonade.
- Servings: 4
- 3 tablespoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2- to 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 cups nonfat buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons Tabasco (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds vegetable shortening
In a medium container, combine ice water and 2 tablespoons salt; add chicken. Be sure water completely covers chicken. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Place buttermilk in a medium airtight container. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat in liquid. Cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
Swirl Tabasco into buttermilk mixture. Transfer chicken to a wire rack to drain.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside. Place flour, remaining 1 tablespoon salt, and pepper in a large, shallow dish. Mix to combine. Lightly coat chicken in flour mixture. Tap to remove excess. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Heat vegetable shortening in a deep 12-inch pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Use tongs to place chicken pieces in oil. Fry until deep mahogany color is achieved, about 18 minutes, turning every 7 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh should register 170 degrees. Transfer to a wire rack to drain. Season with salt.