Fried chicken made at home is best
Yield: Makes 8 servings
Cut chicken into pieces; cut each breast half into halves. Mix flour, salt, paprika and pepper in a paper or plastic bag. Add a few pieces of chicken to bag and shake until well-coated; repeat.
Heat oil (1/4 inch) in a 12-inch skillet. Cook chicken in oil over medium heat until light brown, 15-20 minutes; reduce heat. Cover tightly and simmer, turning once or twice, until thickest pieces are done, 30-40 minutes. If skillet cannot be covered tightly, add 1-2 tablespoons water. Remove cover during last 5 minutes of cooking to crisp chicken.
If using self-rising flour, decrease salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Sherried chicken: Substitute 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger for the paprika. After browning chicken, place skin sides up in ungreased 9-by 13-inch pan. Mix 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup sherry or apple juice and 1 clove garlic, crushed. Pour 1/4 of the broth mixture over chicken. Cover and cook in 325-degree oven, brushing occasionally with remaining broth mixture, until done, 45-50 minutes. Remove cover during last 5 minutes of cooking to crisp chicken.
Maryland fried chicken: Blend 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons water; after coating chicken with flour, dip pieces into egg mixture, then into 2 cups cracker crumbs or dry bread crumbs.
Oven-fried chicken: Omit vegetable oil. Heat 1/4 cup margarine or butter and 1/4 cup shortening in 9- by 13-inch pan in 425 degree oven until melted. Place coated chicken skin sides down in pan. Cook uncovered 30 minutes. Turn chicken; cook uncovered about 30 minutes longer.
Please note that some ingredients and brands may not be available in every store.