Food & Wine Magazine: August Cover Recipe

Classic Southern Fried Chicken

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (a picnic staple!)

Initial Thoughts: Yeah baby!

THE TEST: This month’s recipe uses the traditional method of frying chicken in Crisco, which kinda creeped me out. Come on – a huge hunk of shortening plopped in your pot and melted into hot liquid? Kinda gross. The reason for Crisco being used in this particular version of fried chicken is because in the mega blockbuster movie The Help, one of the characters refers to Crisco as being “the most important invention in the kitchen since jarred mayonnaise.” Well then. Not going to argue with that testimonial.

I did find the Crisco smoked…A LOT…while I was waiting for it to reach temperature, although once I added the chicken the smoke all but disappeared. Normally this might not be such a problem, but because my hood fan was not working my neighbours all got treated to the high pitch scream of our smoke detectors constantly going off. In the end (no laughing) I set a ring of fans around the stove which helped blow the smoke out the nearby window. What can I say? A stay-at-home-chef’s got to do what a stay-at-home-chef’s got to do.

THE RESULTS: To be honest I was concerned the chicken would turn out dry and bland, as normally when we make fried chicken it is brined overnight. What a pleasant surprise to discover at first bite that the meat was tender and juicy, and the exterior wonderful and crispy. Even the skinless chicken thighs I used ended up with a beautiful, crisp coating. The resounding ‘crunch’ from all of our dining companions confirmed that this recipe is a keeper! One recommendation; double up on the amount of seasoning in the flour dredge as the flavour from the seasoned salt and pepper was wonderful but needed to be dialed up for more impact.

Classic Southern Fried Chicken

As part of my culinary New Year’s resolutions, I have committed to creating each month’s cover recipe from Food & Wine Magazine.

NOTE: If any of you would like to follow along with me and join in on the fun, I’d love to compare notes! So pick-up a copy of the latest issue of Food & Wine and get cooking. Be sure to send your comments and photos to

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