I decided to learn how to fry chicken and make homemade gravy while I was still in high school. I was dating Ted, who later turned out to be my ex-husband. His mom, Geraldine, made some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, to this day. She used an electric fryer and as much as I tried to duplicate her recipe, I couldn’t get it exactly right. My Dad made really good fried chicken as well, and he used cast-iron skillets instead of electric fryers. I couldn’t replicate his recipe either, so I decided to take some of the techniques from both of them and come up with my own signature dish. And that I did.
By the time I was in college, I had a recipe that I was quite pleased with. I bought a cast-iron skillet that I used just for frying chicken and still have to this day (I have my Dad’s skillets, too!) Unlike my Dad and Geraldine, I decided to marinate my chicken in buttermilk at least 6-8 hours before frying. Buttermilk is a natural tenderizer and helps to make the chicken nice and juicy. I also added crushed cornflakes to my flour mixture, which gives the chicken extra crunch.
This was one of my most requested dishes for several years, until the age monster made so many of us watch our fried food intake. But every now and then, I love to get out my cast-iron skillets and fry up a batch of this wonderful comfort food. National Fried Chicken Day is July 6th — a great reason to give this a try, or make some for your Fourth of July celebration. You’ll be glad you did!