This recipe comes from my mom and grandmother. In the old days we bought whole chickens and cut them into 8 or 10 pieces (cut the breast in half to make 10). Walter loved the breast and the rest of us love drumsticks. Because chicken parts go on sale often, I just buy the parts I want. The breast is great for salads, casseroles and soups, so whenever they go on sale, I’m buying. I always buy on the bone, with the skin on. The skin is really easy to take off and there is flavor in the bone. They go on sale at least once a month, for under $1 a pound.
I always rinse the chicken with cold water, pat with paper towel. Next, I sprinkle the pieces with Paula Deen’s house seasoning; 1 C. kosher salt, ¼ C. ground black pepper & ¼ C. garlic powder. Just mix all the ingredients and store in a container with a shaker top. Be sure to label any special blends that you put together. The “House Seasoning “is what I use on most meats, it’s a great blend. You want to season at every step. In the old days we used paper bags, but now I use a gallon size zip bag for coating the chicken. In the zip bag, I put 1C. AP flour (I always buy all-purpose flour, because with a few ingredients I can make self-rising flour) 1T House Seasoning and 1t. Onion powder, shake up the bag to blend. Once the chicken is seasoned, start adding pieces to the flour to coat. Shake the pieces twice to make sure they are completely coated and set them aside. Prepare the skillet with at least 2” of oil and pre heat the pan on medium high (should take at least 8-10 minutes). You can test the temperature by sprinkling a pinch of flour in the oil, it will sizzle when ready. Slowly add the pieces, one at a time, away from you. Make sure that you don’t crowd the pan. There needs to be room to turn the pieces. Cook the pieces for 15 minutes on the first side, they should be golden. Then turn on the other side and cook for another 10 minutes covered. Remove from the skillet and drain on layers of paper towel. Repeat the process until all the pieces are cooked.
To make the gravy, pour off most of the remaining oil, leave 1/4 C. and there will be drippings. At a medium temperature, sprinkle in 1/4 C. of the seasoned flour and whisk to combine. As the gravy thickens, add hot water to thin it down. You will notice a change in color as it cooks. It becomes lighter in color. Continue to cook for a few minutes to get rid of the taste of flour. Taste to make sure the flavor is where you want it. Most times I add bouillon powder or cubes to kick up the flavor. Great on potatoes, rice or grits. Your gravy should be a little thinner than you want, because it will continue to thicken. The most important bit of advice I can give about cooking, is taste your food.
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