Now on to the Main Course

As we mentioned yesterday, Mr. N got to pick his whole meal for his birthday dinner. Despite his adventurous nature with food, he asked for one of his long-running favorites – chicken nuggets. This seemed a little lackluster to me, so I asked him if he wanted to try some real, authentic fried chicken. He was definitely game.

So since we’re cooking around the world and throughout different regions of the U.S., we thought we’d add some Southern soul to the night and go with Buttermilk Fried Chicken. For the recipe we turned to Kay over at Pure Complex. While Kay is  a New Yorker now, she comes from a long line of Southern soul food cooking women, including her mom and grandmother from which this recipe was inspired. While we provide a list of suggested ingredients, as Kay said – soul food is about cooking from what you feel, not from what you see; so listen to your heart and adapt the spices to fit your family and tastes. And what a better way to make our first soul food dish – than by cooking it for my little guy’s birthday. It can’t help but come from the heart!

So for Mr. N, we started with a mix of chicken legs and chicken wings because they’re easiest for the kids to eat.

Next we made our dry rub with paprika, salt, garlic salt, pepper and oregano and added half of it to about six cups of buttermilk.

We poured the buttermilk over the chicken and let it marinate in the fridge for a little under 24 hours.

Now for the fun part! The day of the birthday dinner, we doubled up a few brown paper bags and added the remaining dry rub, flour, salt and sugar to the bag. Next we put a few pieces of the chicken in the bags to shake. You can guess how this went down.

We had two volunteers on hand and ready to shake it out. Mr. N went first to show Miss A how it was done.

But Miss A had this down from the start.

After some seriously intense shaking action, we set the coated chicken on wire racks to rest for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, we added about 64 ounces of peanut oil to a large stock pot with a deep fry thermometer. (I’m so happy we invested in one of these little gadgets. Not only did it keep our chicken from blackening, but it kept my mind at ease with the oil. Okay – not at ease, but a bit less anxious.) 

Once the oil reached 300F we added the chicken legs and fried them for about 20 minutes. When they were done we removed them from the oil and set them to drain on paper towels while we added the wings to the pot.

In total it took about 40 minutes to fry up all the chicken. We had about two dozen chicken pieces that were juicy and fried to perfection. We served our buttermilk fried chicken with some cheddar garlic biscuits and of course the cobbler. You’ll note the absence of vegetables – it was Mr. N’s birthday after all! 😉

And speaking of Mr. N he gave the chicken 3 spoons and ate several legs! Miss A even ate her chicken; although it’s unclear if she liked it or was just trying to earn her cobbler. And dad and I both gave the dish 4 spoons.

I’d like to extend our thanks to Kay and her mom. We are honored to have had the pleasure to enjoy one of your family recipes. It was wonderful and a great birthday dinner! (Not to mention it’s providing me with great leftovers for the week!)

Print this recipe: Buttermilk Fried Chicken

19 thoughts on “Now on to the Main Course

  1. thecompletecookbook says:

    What a special birthday treat dinner – I can imagine how good it must have been and I love the celebrate dinner plate. My hubby would say that it is ‘compulsory’ to NOT have veggies on your birthday. Both Mr N and Miss A looks adorable in their shaking the bag photos.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • ChefMom says:

      I’m with your husband on this one! I do like more veggies than when I was a kid, but I still have a strong aversion to beans, peas, carrots, beats and brussel sprouts. LOL!

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  2. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} says:

    Yeah, looks like y’all had a great southern cooking experience. I get nervous too about frying with oil, I need to get myself a thermometer. I have never deep fried anything, just pan fried in a shallow frying pan. Will this recipe work for pan frying?
    Love how the kids got involved in the shaking process, priceless!

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    • ChefMom says:

      The thermometer was a great purchase – definitely a must for deep frying! I think that this recipe would work in a shallow fry as well. Just fry on each side for about 10 minutes. 🙂

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  3. Charles says:

    You’re a brave woman – I hate deep-frying. I think I would have “chickened out” (pun fully intended) and shallow fried it instead. Looks great though – the look on Mr. N’s face as he’s transferring the chicken to the paper bag – priceless! You can tell he’s thinking “ewwww, drippy and icky!”

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    • ChefMom says:

      LOL! Love the pun. 😉 Brave…or Crazy! Deep frying scares the you know what out of me. The last time we truly deep fried (with more than an inch of oil) I set the kitchen on fire and nearly burned off my face. Very scary. That’s why the thermometer was an absolute must this time around – and we cleared the kids from the kitchen. And yes – Mr. N was totally creeped out by the gooey chicken. LOL. I think I’ve completely scared him about raw food germs. Mostly I just want him to be cautious and make sure to clean-up. I wish some of his cautiousness would rub off on Miss A though. She’s is wild and without fear.

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  4. Caroline says:

    I really love when bloggers use fellow bloggers’ recipes. We’re all kind of one big family in a sense. 🙂 I also really enjoy that your entire family is always included in the cooking process. The brown bag shaking is my favorite. Kudos to Mr. N and Miss A!

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    • ChefMom says:

      Absolutely – and you know it will be good! The brown bag shaking was a hoot. Mr. N was very excited and wanted to go first. He shook his pieces and then went back to his toys. Miss A on the other hand was ready to shake and shake and shake. I think she shook 3 or 4 rounds of chicken pieces. LOL!

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  5. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I LOVED how you made the chicken. GOOD JOB GIRL!!! My mom, and my 2 aunts read this and they started clapping after they finished lol. Seriously. My mother wanted me to tell you that you are NOW an OFFICIAL Southern Women and if you need anymore recipes to let her know. I hope Mr. N and Miss A really enjoyed the chicken and Happy belated birthday to Mr. N. Great job 🙂 and welcome to the family

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    • ChefMom says:

      Thank you Kay! I’m just beaming now. I’m so glad they approved! It’s always nerve-wracking cooking up a well-loved family recipe. It was absolutely delicious too! Thanks so much. Mr. N was very happy with it and Miss A has eaten leftovers, so it would appear it wasn’t just a show to get her dessert. Ha! Pass along my thanks to your mom as well. You guys are awesome!

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