Cast Iron

Essie's Fried Chicken (with Cinnamon)

June 17, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

our nanny made this chicken for us. It is the best fried chicken I have ever had and I continue to try and replicate it. I've come close, but nothing will be as good as hers. This is close, however. —jwolfsthal

What You'll Need
  • 1 whole chicken, cut up with skin on
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2-3 splashes Season All
  • 2-3 cups Canola oil
  1. Cut up chicken and trim of all visible fat, wash and pat dry
  2. Shake Season All all over and place in zip lock bag and leep in fridge for 1-24 hours. (I don't believe in soaking ion buttermilk. I believe this may have been necessary many years ago, but fresh, natrually raised, free range chicken doesn't need the flavor adjustment that may have been needed 50 yeasr ago).
  3. Remove chicken from fridge and bring to room temperature.
  4. Place flour and other spices in a double layer brown paper bag. Shake. (you can easily use two/three plastic bags if you don't have paper).
  5. In a large cast iron pan or dutch oven, bring 2" of oil to 375 degrees. Do not use too much oil. This recipe is for pan fried, not deep fried, chicken. Deep fried is a whole other flock of birds. Temperature control here is really important. Keep oil as close to 375 for the whole cooking period as possible.
  6. Add 3 pieces of chicken at a time to bag, seal and give a few good shakes. The remove, shake off extra and place on a plate. Chicken should have a full dusting of flour. IMPORTANT NOTE - ONLY DUST AS MANY PIECES AS YOU CAN FRY AT ONCE. YOU DON'T WANT TO FLOUR THE CHICKEN FOR MORE THAN A MINUTE BEFORE YOU ADD TO OIL. OTHERWISE, IT GETS GUMMY.
  7. Once all 8-10 pieces are dusted, add one at a time to pan. ( a large cast iron pan should be able to hold an entire 3-4 pound cut up chicken. The oil should be shimmering before you place the chicken in and it should loudly sizzle, but not go crazy, when you add the chicken. Temperature will drop a little, so make sure the heat is on high.
  8. Cook on one side 30 seconds to 1 minutes and then turn and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. By now, temperature should be back up to 375. Cover and turn down heat to medium high and cook for 6 minutes. Then turn all pieces, re-cover and cook for 6 more minutes. Other than these turns, don't mess with the chicken. It's frying and doesn't like to be messed with. Watch, listen, do other things but don't keep poking the chicken.
  9. Remove cover and turn up heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until nice and golden brown. Juices should run clear if pierced.
  10. Remove to cooking rack. Resiste for as long as you can and then descend on this delicious feast.
  11. Serve with homemade buttermilk biscuits (a use for it has been found afterall) and a side salad.
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