This recipe comes from my mother’s Sunday School class cookbook, produced about 25 years ago. It used to make absolutely foolproof, perfect fried chicken. However, times have changed–and the timing of this recipe needs to change unless you are using a small chicken, what used to be called a “fryer.” I have discovered that today’s super-sized chickens (I’m talking to you, Frank Perdue, and your son, too) take longer to cook, especially the egregiously oversized breasts.
What follows is the ORIGINAL RECIPE. If using a larger chicken or pieces, which tend to be thicker, add 2 minutes to each side, and leave the split breasts in for another 5 minutes or more. Cut into the meat and see if the juices run clear.
So the recipe is not as easy as it used to be. But it still works, if you use a small freerange-type chicken or adjust the timing.
Sunday School Class Fried Chicken
Clean and cut a whole chicken ready to fry (or buy pieces). Place in cold water and let set about 3 – 5 minutes. Pat the pieces dry. Salt the chicken and roll in flour. Add a little black pepper if you like.
Meanwhile, heat shortening in a deepish skillet (Crisco is good, or oil, or lard if you’re a purist). When it’s hot (a drop of water will make the oil sizzle), put the chicken in. Cook on medium heat 5 minutes with a lid ON the skillet. Then remove the lid and cook for 4 minutes with the lid OFF.
Turn the chicken pieces and place the top on; cook for 5 minutes. Then remove top and cook for 4 minutes. Should be done, crispy but moist inside and not pink. As noted above, modern breasts and thighs MAY TAKE LONGER!