I am no southern girl and I can never claim that living in Georgia in my youth has been the inspiration for my life long love for fried chicken. Almost everyone I know loves fried chicken. My father has always been a culinary adventurer. I remember those rare moments when my Dad was home from work and he and my mother would cook together. It was one night they both were attempting to make southern fried chicken from an All-American recipes cookbook. I was about 10 years old at the time and I was already old enough to help in the kitchen. Every night, my task was to cook the rice. That night, my Dad and Mom were a team making and frying the chicken. My job was to make the gravy. That gravy was my first introduction to making roux-based sauces.
Over the last 20 years, I've always used that same fried chicken recipe. This one here, is a variation of it. It's really almost nothing like the original recipe. I rarely have buttermilk in my refrigerator these days. We now stockpile on milk kefir. Kefir is a sour-tasting milk that is fermented using kefir grains. Kefir milk has its origins in Russia. You can now find kefir milk in natural food stores or your local market. I buy the kefir smoothies for my son, while I buy the plain versions, using them to add to my morning granola in place of regular yogurt.
I decided to use kefir milk in my fried chicken recipe because the kefir functions almost the same as the buttermilk. The kefir lends such a delicious taste and extraordinary crunch to my fried chicken recipe and uses a short marinade time of 30 minutes. You can absolutely leave your chicken in the kefir milk overnight to add more flavor and tenderness.
If you would like to have the gravy recipe to my fried chicken it is basically a bechamel-based gravy. I use 1/4 cup of the frying oil, and 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to make a roux. I then add 2 cups milk and 1 cup chicken stock to the roux and whisk vigorously to make a creamy gravy to serve over rice or potatoes.
4 – 5 lbs chicken wing joints, flats and drumsticks
3 cups kefir milk
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 cups all-purpose unbleached flour or pastry flour
2 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
4 tablespoons mild paprika
Tools: Deep fryer or 5 quart stock pot and canola oil to fill up almost half way.
In one large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the chicken and stir through to coat evenly. Let sit for about 30 minutes.
In a separate large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.
Heat the deep fryer or your pot of oil to 375 degrees.
Working in small batches, remove one wing piece out of the kefir mixture and gently tap on the edge of the bowl to remove excess milk. Drop into the dry ingredients bowl. Repeat until you have about 6 or 7 wings in the dry mixture. Gently toss with your hands to lightly coat. You really don’t need to a lot of tossing. The kefir milk is thick and the flour will immediately coat the chicken with the perfect amount of flour. Remove each wing, one at a time, gently tapping to remove excess flour and place on a plate to “rest”. Resting allows the flour and the kefir milk to almost cake up on the chicken and helps the flour to stick.
Repeat this breading process until all of your chicken wing sections have been coated.
When the fryer is at the correct temperature, add one chicken wing to the oil one at a time, placing each piece around each other in a single layer. Do not place any wings on top of each other! You will end up having two wings stuck together.
After about 5 minutes, turn over the chicken pieces to allow to cook on the other side. The chicken is done when the pieces begin to float to the top. About 8-9 minutes and golden brown. Remove the chicken wings and let it drain on paper towels.
Repeat with the remaining chicken wings. Let all the wings drain on a paper towels before transferring them to a warmed platter.
We eat them fresh out of the fryer! These are great dipped in your favorite ranch dipping sauce or barbeque sauce! Super yum!