If your plans include fried chicken, southern is the way to go – Orange County Register

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week.

Wait. What? Only one week to appreciate teachers?

To celebrate those tireless workers dedicated to shaping the minds of future generations, Raising Cane’s, famous for its chicken finger meals, is offering 10 lucky teachers a chance to win an all-expenses-paid summer vacation: two round trip tickets to any destination within the contiguous United States, a two-night hotel stay, and a $200 gift card for vacation spending. For  more information and to enter go to RaisingCanesTASweepstakes.com, but hurry. Friday is the last day to enter.

Raising Cane’s currently boasts 775 restaurants in 40 plus states and plans to open 100 more this year. Locations in our neck of the woods include South Harbor Boulevard and Orangethorpe Avenue in Fullerton, Euclid Street and Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim, Imperial Highway and Beach Boulevard in La Habra, and Beach and Garden Grove boulevards in Stanton.

This popular fried chicken restaurant chain was not about to give me their recipe for fried chicken, so I looked to the experts. If you’re making fried chicken at home, you want to do it the southern way.

I found what I was looking for in the Feb. 9 issue of Southern Living. According to recipe tester Amanda Stanfield, buttermilk’s natural acidity tenderizes the meat and is a flavorful vessel for the spices and herbs.

Surprised by the pickle juice? Just the ticket for that tangy, briny flavor.

Here are some tips for best results. Stay away from those giant chickens, which take more time to cook, causing burning on the outside and undercooked chicken on the inside. Similarly, cut large breasts in two so all the parts can cook at the same time.

Use paper towels to dry the chicken thoroughly before dredging in flour, and don’t double-dip into the dredge or your crust will be soggy.

Southern cooks prefer peanut oil, but canola or vegetable oil will do. All three are best for deep frying because of their higher smoking point. Also, these neutral oils won’t add their own flavor to the chicken and are inexpensive, an added plus when using the quantities of oil needed for deep frying.

Lastly, maintaining the proper oil temperature is key. Start with very hot oil, around 360 degrees, and maintain between 300 to 325 degrees during the frying process. Work in batches without overcrowding the pan, and cover the pan to help to trap the heat.

Fullerton’s Judy Bart Kancigor is the author of “Cooking Jewish” and “The Perfect Passover Cookbook.” Her website is cookingjewish.com.


From Southern Living magazine and recipe developer and tester Amanda Stanfield, see online at southernliving.com.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 (4-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice (from one 46-ounce jar dill pickles)
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 8 cups canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (about 8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Hot pickled peppers


1. Place chicken, buttermilk, pickle juice, hot sauce, and 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt in large bowl; toss well to ensure chicken is completely coated in buttermilk mixture. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

2. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Heat oil in large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over high to 325 degrees.

3. Meanwhile, place flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large Ziplock plastic bag. Seal bag; shake and mix spices evenly into flour. Place a few pieces of chicken in bag; seal bag, and shake and until well coated. Remove chicken, and place on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining chicken.

4. Working in batches of 2 to 3 pieces, fry chicken in hot oil, skin side down first, turning occasionally using a wire spider or tongs, and adjusting heat level as needed to maintain oil temperature, until golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of chicken registers 165 degrees. It’s going to be 10 to 15 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Serve with hot pickled peppers and additional hot sauce.

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