Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Mama's Texas Fried Chicken

Yes, I know.  Fried food is bad for us.  But once in a while fried chicken is just a necessity, don't you think? 

My mother made the best fried chicken ever. She learned it from her mother, and I learned it from my mother, and my daughter learned it from me, and we always get compliments.   It is easy, and it can't be beat.  Here's the secret.  Remove the skin.  That bumpy skin adds neither flavor nor crispiness to fried chicken.  It just adds fat and calories.  So buy skinless breasts and cut them into somewhat smaller pieces, or skin the chicken before you go any further.  If you leave that nasty chicken skin on--well it won't be mama's chicken.

Season the chicken pieces generously with Lawry's Seasoning Salt, and pepper. Do not use a cheaper brand of seasoning salt.  It matters.  Use Lawrys.

Dip the pieces into flour.  You can put them in a bag of flour and shake if you like--works great--but watch out that the bag is really closed.  That's the voice of bitter experience talking.  Now dip the floured pieces into milk. Buttermilk works even better. They'll be messy.  And, once more, dip them in flour.  Let the pieces sit for about five minutes.
Fry in hot oil (I use an electric skillet at about 350 degrees) till nicely golden and cooked through.  The Lawry's salt adds wonderful color.  Do not cover.  The hardest part is to cook the chicken slowly enough to ensure it is done, but also to cook fast enough that the coated outsides get nicely brown.

Are you thinking that such a simple recipe can't be anything all that good?  Try it.  You'll like it.  It is even better if you make a batch of biscuits, pack the chicken and biscuits in the same container, and head out for a picnic.  Mmmmmm!  

For the gravy, add flour to the pan drippings and brown over medium heat.  Then slowly add milk, stirring well, till the consistency seems right.  Add salt and pepper if needed.  I can't give you amounts.  It may take a little experimentation.


  1. We can't get that kind of salt here - wondering what herbs/ spices are in it - so I could make my own substitute - the recipe looks really good.

    Ironically here the best fried chicken comes from the Chinese restaurant -though it's in a sort of batter. It's very good - but I'd like to try this for myself.

    (course my friend is now in the USA - in CA - maybe she could bring me a package of that salt back ... I think I'll ask her :)

  2. You can mix salt and pepper and garlic salt with paprika to get a bit of the red color if you need to.

    Lawry's is based in California I first tasted it at an a summer camp put on by Easter Seals, an organization here in the US that helps disabled people. The Lawry's company is a major corporate donor of Easter Seals, so there was no salt on the tables at the camp, only Lawry's! I came home raving about this wonderful seasoning salt, and how wonderful it tasted on eggs, and mashed potatoes, etc. My mother bought some, and the family was hooked for good. Before we began using Lawry's on the chicken we just salted and peppered it, but Lawry's really does make a difference. I have tried cheaper seasoning salt, but it wasn't the same. I hope your California friend can bring you a big bottle. :-) If not, look for a seasoning salt that has an orange color to it.