So Dennis wanted fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans for his birthday. It took me a few years of intermittent attempts at fried chicken to get the flaky crust just right, but what it really ended up being was letting the battered chicken rest for 15 minutes while the oil heats up!
If you have a whole chicken and you need to part it out, check out this post - Dennis has a YouTube video for you that walks you through it!
Chicken, parted out
Crushed red pepper (optional)
4-6 eggs (depending on how many pieces of chicken you are battering)
In a shallow bowl (I use a pasta bowl), place 2 cups of flour, and 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and the optional crushed red pepper (for a little more flavor). Mix well with a fork. In another shallow bowl, crack 4-6 eggs, and whisk with the fork until well-combined.
Take your chicken pieces and dredge them through the flour, making sure that it is well-coated on both sides. Then dip in the egg wash. It won't really want to stick, so you may have to flip it a few times until you get a decent amount of egg on the floured chicken. Put the chicken back into the flour and make sure it's fully covered a second time. Place on a plate and set aside. Repeat for all of the chicken, adding flour and/or egg if you run out. This is messy! Be prepared to wash your fingers off a few times. Let the battered chicken rest for 15 minutes while you heat up the oil.
Preheat your oven to 300F. Using a pot that is at least 8" deep, pour 2-4" of oil in the bottom of the pan. Set the burner to high and heat up to 350F, or in my case, when I flick a drop of water in the pot and it crackles just right.
Fry your chicken by placing the pieces in the oil carefully. Brown one side, then flip it over with a pair of tongs. Place it in the oven to finish for at least 10 minutes, salting it soon after placing it in the oven. Voila! You've made fried chicken.
Special hint: For amazing, creamy mashed potatoes, use lots of butter and a spoonful or two of cream cheese. The cream cheese gives a creamier texture and just a hint of tang to the potatoes!