I love fried chicken and growing up my mother could make the absolute best fried chicken. These were days long before the fried chicken craze came on board. Long before fried chicken was considered fast food. She had a cast iron skillet which was probably about 10 inches or so, an old white enamel lid that didn’t quite fit, flour, salt, pepper and Crisco shortening. She could batter and fry a whole chicken in the single pan at one time. So yummy crispy good.
Over the years I worked hard to replicate her feat but haven’t quite mastered it. Being gluten free means no more chain fried chicken for me. I have tried a couple of recipes and the one that I was most successful was is a recipe from Rachel Ray. Hers calls for a myriad of spices like paprika, chili powder and even cinnamon.
Recently I got a sample of Forward, a salt free seasoning from Penzey’s Spices.
The ingredients list includes many of the same spices plus a few additions. I decided to make Rachel Ray’s chicken with this spice blend and yogurt in place of the sour cream. The end result was delicious, crispy fried chicken. Not quite like my mother’s but delicious. It was cooked in a heavy cast iron skillet like my mother and the recipe scaled for 2.
In a shallow dish combine the yogurt with 1 tablespoon of the seasoning blend. Place chicken breasts in mixture and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate and marinate for up to 8 hours.
In a bag or other container blend together the remaining seasoning blend with with flour and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the chicken from the yogurt and lightly shake to remove any excess. Place in bag and shake with seasoned flour until coated.
Pour about 1 inch of oil into a heavy skillet and heat until it reaches about 325 degrees. I test the oil by using a wooden spoon and when the oil sizzles and bubbles the oil is hot enough. Place the chicken in the hot oil and let it brown on one side, flip and brown second side. Cook on each side for 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown or until juices run clear when pierced.
I did not do it this time around but would suggest flattening the breasts slightly for more even cooking or even cutting into strips. Mine cooked quickly but really needed some additional cooking time and ended up in the microwave for a minute to complete the cooking process. The chicken was served with our family favorite of mashed potatoes topped with peas. The only thing that could make the meal more perfect would be some fluffy biscuits, dripping with melted butter.