The recipe that I am using here for fried chicken legs is one that I picked up near Savannah, Georgia. Fried chicken is a popular food all over the country, but it is especially popular in the south, which means that they make a lot of fried chicken that is pretty good. The trick with this recipe, though, is that we aren't deep frying it, but using a braising pan to fry it in about 2 inches of peanut oil. This means that it will take longer to cook because we have to flip them, but it is much easier than deep-frying, and we use a lot less oil.
1. Pick up some chicken legs or other pieces for frying. One of my favorite pieces of fried chicken meat is the leg, which is why I went with them. You could bread any cut of chicken with this recipe, just be sure to get chicken that looks fresh and smells good. Rinse the chicken in fresh water and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Mix up your breading for the chicken. The recipe for breading: all-purpose flour, Lawry's seasoning salt, and black pepper. Combine equal parts Lawry's and black pepper, and keep it on the shelf. Into 2 cups of flour, add about 1½–2 Tbsp of seasoning. You can use whatever seasoning you want, or make your own using the recipe to the right.
3. Bread the chicken legs for frying. You can bread the chicken without dipping it in a liquid, as long as the outside of the chicken is wet. I like to dip it in a thicker liquid, like buttermilk or an egg-milk mixture, first. Bread the chicken just before you are going to fry it in the oil. If the breading sits too long, it will get too moist.
4. Fry the chicken legs. I recommend using peanut oil, as long as no one is allergic. Otherwise, use canola or frying shortening. Heat up the oil on the stove until it reaches 375 degrees F. Add the chicken and begin frying it. Try to maintain an oil temperature of around 350 degrees. Rotate the chicken every couple of minutes to maintain even cooking.
5. Check the internal temperature of the chicken. It only takes a few minutes for the chicken to begin looking like it's done. To make sure, use a thermometer and check the internal temperature. Stick the probe in the thickest part of the chicken and check the temperature at the core, right next to the bone. It should be cooked to 165 degrees in order to be safe to eat.
Buy chicken that looks and smells fresh.
Use all-purpose or cake flour to bread the chicken. Some people say to use self-rising flour, which has baking powder added to it. You could try that if you want to, knowing that it might make the breading fluffier. You can add a little baking powder to all-purpose flour, 1 tsp per 2 cups of flour, to make your own self-rising flour.
Bread the chicken a few minutes just before you fry it.
Heat up the oil to 375–400 degrees before you add the chicken. This will help to compensate for the temperature drop after you add the chicken. Try to keep the oil at 350 degrees.
If the chicken still isn't done and the breading is getting too dark, pop it in the oven for a few minutes.