Dixie's fried chicken

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Frying chicken, cut up
\N \N Egg
\N \N Flour
\N \N Milk

Wash and unless you are 19 and a beanpole with a family history of living to 108, skin chicken pieces. PLACE WASHED CHICKEN PIECES on CLEAN FRESH paper towel. Beat egg and milk together in bowl. Sift flour with the following spices to taste: salt or Lowry's seasoned salt, black pepper, Old Bay, curry powder (not much!), poultry seasoning, red pepper (not much!) mustard powder (not much!) other suitable spices to your taste. MSG may be purchased in ominous looking bag from Chinese restaurant supply if you really want to emulate the Colonel and really be a slacker, but Lowry's Seasoned salt has enough MSG to please most. Should you not prefer MSG, skip the Lowry's and use table salt. Note: Some people react to MSG so you can query your guests. The Colonel is loaded with MSG, that's what makes it taste so much like the Colonel. Deal with MSG according to your preferences. On with the show. In a preferably electric skillet at 350 (perfect!), or failing that, a non-stick skillet on Med. Hi, put on some Puritan oil. (Oil is less likely to splatter you and oil does not smoke.) Other oils are OK but Puritan is rated healthiest.

About ¼" deep. Allow to reach 350. NEVER place the washed and/or cooked chicken back in contact with any surface OR utensil (tongs, etc.) that has touched the pre-cooked chicken. There is a very prevalent problem with chicken just lately, but cooking takes care of it. Always, always, use a clean surface/utensil. Put flour mixture in bowl or pie tins, or a bag, depending on if you want to roll or shake. Roll or shake chicken pieces in flour mixture; then dip in milk mixture. Then roll or shake them in the flour mixture (2nd time.) Lower coated chicken pieces into 350 degree oil with tongs (DO NOT EVER PIERCE THE PIECES) and cook EIGHT MINUTES ON EACH SIDE.

Covered skillet yields more tender crust. Uncovered yields crispier crust. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER poke the frying pieces with a fork, knife, etc. Use the 8 minutes on each side rule at 350 degrees.

Poking releases juices that SPLATTER when they reach the hot oil.

This burns you. Also, don't let any water or moisture drop into the oil. If this does not happen, it will not spatter you. If you need to check done-ness, you can remove the very thickest piece from the skillet onto a paper towel, and peek down to the bone and check for any pink. There should not be any pink. While frying, if the outside begins to darken too much before the inside is done, your heat is too high. If this happens and you turn it down, you can continue frying the pieces at an appropriate heat even with the outisde a little dark, and it won't really hurt anything. The inside will still be great!

Gravy: When chicken is done, pour out all the oil except for about ⅛" or a little less depending on how many people want gravy. Mix a little bit (about ¼ cup) of either regular flour or the kind in the small round box that PROMISES not to lump, especially for sauces and pastes and gravies, with COLD water to make a thin gruel in the measuring cup. COLD helps it mix and not lump (this works with cornstarch when making cobblers, pies, etc. too!) Mix the flour and cold water with fork. Now, assemble extra flour, the whole carton of milk, and water, and pepper and salt, in real real easy reach of the skillet. Turn up the heat in the skillet with your smaller amount of oil and drippin's, to about 425 or "Hi" for a minute. When it looks alive again, stir in your flour water mixture REAL FAST and keep stirring! It may start to look like it's going to lump but keep stirring fast! The object is to brown that flour and oil goop as much as you can before you add the milk. This is tricky and it never turns out right. When you give up on browning the flour/water/oil goop any more before it is cement, slowly begin to add milk and STIR FAST A LOT. It will thicken and you add more milk as it cooks. Oh, by the way, turn it back down to about 350 or Med. as it bubbles. When you have about half the volume of gravy you are going to need, switch to water instead of milk. You will not believe if you taste the yummy chicken, that more salt and pepper will be needed for this gravy, but if you taste it at this point you will see that the gravy is VERY bland. You will need to add a LOT of salt, pepper, seasoned salt, whatever is your taste. If your gravy does not go right and clumps up during the browning stage, you are in fine company. Just go ahead and add the milk, stir, and put the whole thing in the food processor; afterwards, you can return the mixture to the skillet and teach it who's boss. Just remember to season it enough. And serve on top of some ho-made mashed potatoes!!!!!! P.S. M.S.G. fans, Lowry's seasoned salt is EXCELLENT in mashed potatoes. Not gourmet. But very tasty and nobody has to know! Oh, OK, you may want to check with your guests before using anything with M.S.G. :-)

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