It’s summertime, and everywhere you go, folks are eating fried chicken. After all, isn’t this a Fourth of July Tradition? But in your house, there is just you and your significant other, or maybe even just your fur baby. Is making fried chicken for 2 really worth all the effort, time, and trouble?
Yes, making fried chicken is a big undertaking. And you can always run out and pick up a bucket from the local chicken place. But if you want a better bite of hot, crispy chicken, nothing beats making it at home. There’s just me and the hubs in my household, and yes, it’s worth the trouble for me. Let me show you why.
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Fried Chicken For 2
To start, I don’t use a whole chicken I have to cut up. I’m not a butcher, and I bet you aren’t either. Secondly, I don’t even use skin-on, bone-in pieces of chicken. I use boneless, skinless breasts and thighs. “What?” You say. “Why?” Simple, I fry chicken one time and then freeze up two servings together for use in later meals like, say, a nice chicken parmesan
We’ll talk about freezing and reheating the fried chicken later, but let’s get on with the cooking.
Brining Or Marinating Your Chicken
First, I ensure all chicken pieces are about the same size. Have you noticed lately that the chicken breast you buy all seem to come from Amazon Sized Chickens?
I like each piece to be around 6 ounces. Usually, thighs are already this size. I cut the breasts in half and, if necessary, pound them out, so they are around the same thickness. This keeps the cooking time equal for all the chicken pieces.
Many fried chicken recipes start with soaking your chicken pieces in buttermilk. No difference here; I do the same. Buttermilk or yogurt is acidic and will tenderize the chicken. I mention yogurt here because most households don’t have buttermilk in the frig, and it’s an acceptable substitute.
Or you can buy powdered buttermilk and store this in the pantry. That’s what I do. This way, I have buttermilk on hand when I want buttermilk biscuits or pancakes.
For the marinade, I use buttermilk flavored with the same spices I use in my dredge. Using the spices in the marinade gets the flavors deep into the meat. I use garlic, mustard, onion, cayenne, salt, and pepper in this mix.
Mix this all together and add the chicken pieces. Once the pieces are thoroughly coated, I put them in a Ziploc bag and let them marinate in the refrigerator overnight. You don’t need to marinate this long. Two hours is sufficient; four is better.
Prepare The Flour Dredge
Mix your flour with the same spices you added to your buttermilk. I also like to add some herbs. I have a kitchen herb garden and always have oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc., around.
Setting Up Your Fried Chicken Assembly Line
When I make fried chicken, I make a lot. I don’t usually fry in my house, so I want to get the most out of this effort. Having the “pre” and “post” frying stations set and ready makes me much more efficient.
From left to right:
- The marinated chicken and dredge
- A sheet pan, covered with a paper towel and topped with a wire rack to hold the prepped chicken pieces before frying
- A deep heavy pan for frying the chicken (I am using an enameled cast iron dutch oven)
- A second sheet pan, covered with a paper towel and topped with a wire rack to hold the cooked chicken pieces.
Frying The Chicken
To fry the chicken, use a high heat neutral oil. I like canola oil, but vegetable or peanut oil work well also. There needs to be enough oil in the pan to cover the chicken pieces fully. When the oil reaches 350⁰ F, you can add the chicken.
Don’t crowd the pan; this will lower the temperature of the oil, and your pieces may stick together. I can cook about three pieces of chicken at a time in my pan. These 6 oz chicken pieces will take between 10 and 12 minutes to cook.
Chicken breast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165⁰ F, and they will remain moist. Chicken thighs can be cooked up to 175⁰ F and still have good texture and juiciness.
Transfer the chicken from the cooking pan to the cooling rack when it is ready. If you are cooking for a crowd, you can have this second rack in an oven set to 200⁰ F to keep the chicken pieces warm.
Fried Chicken made with boneless, skinless breasts and thighs
- 2 1/2 LBS Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- 2 1/2 LBS Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Black Pepper
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Flour Mixture For Dredging Chicken
- 4 Cups White All Purpose Flour
- 3 Tablespoons Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary - Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano - Chopped
Oil For Frying - Start with 6 Cups - Only About 1 Cup Will Be Absorbed Into the Chicken
- 1 Cup Canola Oil
- Make the Buttermilk Marinade for the chicken by combining all ingredients.
- Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly.
- Allow the chicken to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours up to overnight.
Set up your cooking station
- Pour the oil into the frying pan and begin to heat to 350 F.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade one piece at a time and dredge in the flour mixture, laying them on the prepared rack.
- When the oil reaches temperature, add your first pieces of chicken. Do not overcrowd the frying pan, as this will cause the temperature to drop and may cause your chicken pieces to stick together.
- Cook the chicken for 10 to 12 minutes until the internal temperature is 165 F and the outside is a golden brown.
- Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to the prepared cooling rack.
- Repeat the cooking process until all the chicken is cooked.
Serving Size:6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 559Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 1918mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 50g
Nutritional Information is an estimate and will vary depending on the specific ingredients used
How To Freeze Fried Chicken
Here is the beauty of this recipe. You can freeze this lovely fried chicken to use in many other meals! Like maybe when you are craving a fantastic Fried Chicken Sandwich?
Once the chicken pieces are cool, wrap each piece in plastic wrap individually. This will help prevent freezer burn. Then place the pieces into a sealable freezer bag for even more protection and put it all in your freezer. Don’t forget to label the bag with what’s inside and the date.
When you want more fried chicken, grab what you need. For the best-tasting chicken, you should plan to use it up in four months or so.
How To Defrost And Reheat Fried Chicken
Defrosting Your Chicken
You have a couple of choices for defrosting the fried chicken.
1) You can let the frozen chicken sit in the fridge overnight and allow it to thaw thoroughly. It will take about 8-12 hours for the chicken to thaw in the refrigerator.
2) You can unwrap the frozen fried chicken and let it thaw at room temperature. This will take about an hour.
Reheating The Fried Chicken
Don’t attempt to refry the chicken. This may make it soggy or give it an overcooked flavor. Do reheat the chicken in the oven. You want to heat the chicken fast to keep it as crispy and juicy as possible. First, allow the chicken to reach room temperature before heating. Then place the chicken on a wire rack in an oven preheated to 425⁰ F for just a quick 10 – 15 minutes.