I’ll admit up front, this isn’t the healthiest recipe you’ll find on my site, but it is so tasty it is worth the splurge. I went to my good friends’ house for an Oscar’s party and we all made movie themed foods. I made food from The Help. If you’ve seen the movie, you know Minny’s Fried Chicken wouldn’t be complete without a little Crisco.
Minny has these fine words for Crisco in the film, “Ain’t just for frying. You ever get a sticky something stuck in your hair, like gum? That’s right, Crisco. Spread this on a baby’s bottom, you won’t even know what diaper rash is. Shoot, I seen ladies rub it under they eyes and on they husband’s scaly feet. And after all that it will still fry your chicken.” I don’t know about some of those claims, but when it comes to Fried Chicken, Crisco is the real deal.
I also consulted with my friend Lathon who makes crowd-pleasing fried chicken and comes from a family of excellent cooks. I asked, “What do you cook your fried chicken in?”
He confirmed, “Vegetable shortening, Crisco.”
“And for crispy chicken, any secrets?”
“Self Rising Flour. That is what my brother uses.”
He was right. I tell you, this chicken is so good, it is worth the occasional splurge.
Yield: About 40 Chicken Nuggets
1 1/2 Cups Crisco Vegetable Shortening
2 Lbs. Chicken Breast Tenderloin, cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
2 Cups White Lily Self Rising Flour
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Paprika
Freshly Ground Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
HONEY MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE
1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Honey
1. In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet slowly melt Shortening over medium heat and allow bubbles to start forming in Shortening on the base of the pan. You should be able to feel the heat rising off the oil with your hand, but it should not be smoking. Smoke means the shortening is too hot.
2. In the meantime, pour the Buttermilk in a large bowl and divide Chicken into two 1 pound batches. Soak the first batch of Chicken in the Buttermilk. In a paper bag (yes they still exist) or gallon size Ziploc bag shake together Flour, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Salt and Pepper. Be sure to use plenty of Salt and Pepper.
3. After Chicken has soaked in the Buttermilk for a few minutes, drop pieces into the Ziploc bag ensuring they separate and don’t stick together. Fold over paper bag or seal Ziploc and shake thoroughly to coat Chicken with Flour mixture.
4. Take Chicken to the stove and place each Flour coated piece in the skillet, allowing adequate room to cook evenly. Do not overcrowd the Chicken. You will have to cook the Chicken in numerous batches. (The chicken should sizzle and bubble and start to brown quickly when placed in the pan. If it doesn’t your oil isn’t hot enough, the coating will fall off your chicken and your chicken will be too oily.)
5. Cook Chicken for about 4-5 minutes on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Do not move it around or flip it more than once – just let it be.
6. Remove Chicken from the pan and place on a plate layered with paper towels to soak up grease. Continue placing Chicken in the Shortening in batches and repeat the cooking process. (While this batch of Chicken is cooking soak next pound of chicken in the Buttermilk when there is enough room.) Once all Chicken is removed from your bag, toss the next pound of chicken (that was soaking in the Buttermilk) in the Flour mixture.
7. Continue cooking all Chicken in batches and draining on paper towels until it is all cooked.
8. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients for Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.
9. Serve hot Chicken with sauce. (You can keep leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees, the Chicken won’t be as crispy but still super tasty.) Enjoy!