Cooking On A Budget: Southern Fried Chicken Wings

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Southern Fried Chicken Wings

It's been a long time coming, but I finally made a really good fried chicken.

Many years ago my daughter and I took a trip to Maryland to reconnect with a long time friend of mine from junior high school days. In the years since I last saw Prudence she had remarried and the gentleman she married had a Momma that made the best fried chicken. After many unsuccessful attempts to get fried chicken like his mother's, Prudence finally nailed it and it became her signature dish she served to special guests - namely us. I watched and was given the basic recipe and came back to Connecticut armed with a new recipe for my family.
Unfortunately my first attempt was pitiful. I added salt to the recipe that already used Lawry's Seasoned Salt and it was not even edible. My second attempt was to use our turkey fryer outdoors and that was a disaster - the chicken burned! I vowed I would never attempt the recipe again. Then fast forward to just a few years ago and I spotted a recipe for "Momma's Southern Fried Chicken" and book marked it thinking that "maybe someday I'll attempt fried chicken again." That day was yesterday.

I am very partial to chicken wings; they've always been my favorite. I decided to take the package of wings I bought for Buffalo Wings and finally try the recipe I found despite all my past failures. Needless to say, I am extremely happy with the result and therefore I am going to share this with you.

Using the recipe I found as a guideline I tweaked a few things: I did not have a spice blend called for and I cut back on the salt in the buttermilk mixture as well as ramped up on a couple of the other spices. In addition, peanut oil is far too expensive for our budget so I used regular vegetable oil. I did not marinate the chicken overnight as suggested for best results, but a few hours marinating and the chicken was still fabulous. Plus I did not have buttermilk so I made my own which I'll explain as well.
  • chicken wings - family pack (18-20 wings)
  • oil for frying - I used vegetable oil
Buttermilk mixture:
  • 2 cups buttermilk - or 2 cups whole milk and 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper 
  1. Mix all three ingredients together - a whisk works well.
  2. Add the chicken to a large zip bag or large glass dish or bowl and pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken.
  3. Marinate for about 3 hours up to overnight.
Egg wash:
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  1. In a shallow dish whisk together the eggs and hot sauce. Set aside.
Flour mixture:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sage
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
  1.  Combine all of the ingredients above in a large bowl. Whisk well.
I own a small Faberware fryolator we got from Walmart. I was only able to fry about 3 wings at a time because the wings were large. That being said, it took quite a while. You can place the fried chicken on a sheet pan and keep in warm in a low 200° oven while finishing the frying.

Keep in mind the optimum frying temperature is 300-325° for a constant. My fryolator keeps that temperature for me and I set it for 300 degrees. If you are going to fry in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet you'll need a thermometer used for frying to help regulate your temperature.

Frying Instructions:
  1. When your chicken has marinated, drain the chicken in a colander and shake some of the excess buttermilk off.
  2. Place your flour mixture in a brown paper bag or a large zip lock bag. Add a few pieces of chicken to the bag at a time and shake to coat. 
  3. When the chicken is coated, lay on a sheet tray until you have the first coating of flour done for all of the chicken.
  4. Next, take the chicken and dredge in the egg wash then back in the flour for another good shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and do this for all of the chicken.
  5. Allow that coating to rest on the chicken for a few minutes before frying.
  6. Start your oil at 350° then when you add your first few pieces of chicken, the temperature will drop. Keep the oil at a minimum of 300 degrees. Fry each wing for 12 minutes, turning over half way through. Continue this until all the chicken is fried.
  7. Keep the chicken in a low oven until all the chicken is ready.

Prep time: (not including marinating) 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 6
Cost: Approximately $15.98, serving 6 for $2.66 each

With my fryolator the chicken came out absolutely perfect! Crispy, golden brown coating and the chicken was moist and tender on the inside and it was not the least bit greasy. It was a beautiful thing. Serve your wings with some coleslaw or a simple wedge salad for a great family meal.


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