Rosie’s Southern Fried Chicken & Gravy

I hope all the mothers out there reading this had a wonderful Mother’s Day.  In honor of Mother’s Day  I would like to post my favorite fried chicken recipe which happens to be from my mom and the one she learned from her mom (my Nanny).  I hope to pass this recipe on to our kids one day so they can continue the tradition. Above is a picture of my mom and I in aprons my Nanny made years ago, posing in front of the Hoosier cabinet that I grew up using in the our kitchen.  To the right of us are plates that hung in my great-grandmother’s kitchen and above us is a stand-mixer (cropped from the picture) from my other great-grandmother.  I actually grew up using an identical mixer which my mom still uses today.  I have many generations of amazing cooks surrounding me on a daily basis – I am truly blessed.

Thanks Mom for sharing your passion to cook and bake with me, for passing down these cherished kitchen items, and showing me that cooking is about sharing love.  A thank you to the other mothers who have inspired me in the kitchen including my dear Nanny who showed me not to give up when things didn’t turn out they way I expected by making elephant ears out of the bread dough I brought home from school that failed to rise; my sister who inspires me to think of quick & easy meals for busy moms who don’t like to cook; my Aunt Cathy whose recipes quickly become favorites; all the women I worked with at the bakery in high school, and all the other moms who have shared their love of cooking and baking. 

This is skinless fried chicken but hands down the best fried chicken I have ever eaten – in fact it is the only fried chicken I eat.  My mom was visiting in March and I had planned to ask her to she show me how to make my favorite meal: fried chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes.   This is the meal I always requested growing up on birthdays, whenever I was visiting, or any other special occasion (and still to this day).  My mom was a good sport as I followed her around with my camera and flip video camera, asking a bunch of questions, and insisting she  carefully measure everything.  Did I mention it was her birthday too? Don’t worry I made her a lovely meal too – but she is definitely a great sport!  This post has a lot of pictures – which I think are helpful especially as I try to tackle this again soon on my own.  I have always been a little nervous about frying chicken so I thought a picture tutorial would be perfect.

My mom included a lot of tips as she was cooking.

Mrs. V’s tips on frying chicken:
1. If you have pans that you fry your chicken in it is best to only fry chicken in them so you can season the pans.  She has two pans devoted for this at home – I had none but feel I now need one solely for fried chicken.
2. Use canola oil, I had only vegetable but my mom swears by canola oil.
3. Use chicken broth for your gravy not chicken stock.  Again I had chicken stock and thought the gravy was delicious but my mom swears by chicken broth and said she could taste a difference.
4.  My mom has a little shaker to mix flour and water perfectly for gravy. She received this handy gadget as a wedding present back in the seventies along with a square egg maker.  She still has the shaker and uses it often, the square egg maker…well that’s a different story.  I don’t know where you can find these shakers but I want one and we have looked all over without luck.  So, if you know where you can purchase these handy little shakers, please let me know and we will be friends forever.
5.  Make sure to coat your chicken well with flour – this helps make it nice and crispy.
6.  Make sure the oil is hot or it will soak into the chicken.  You don’t need a thermometer for this (see directions below). 
7.  Be patient, frying chicken takes time (my mom’s usually takes 45minutes to 1 hour but my pan took almost an 1 1/2 hours).  She has a great story about the first time she fried chicken for my Papa. 
8.  Use a splatter screen if you have one – I don’t have one–I had splatters on my stove and let me tell you it was completely worth it. 

If I can ever figure out how to edit the video I made of my mom frying chicken I will post that too.  For now, here is the recipe with lots of pictures.   

Rosie’s Southern Fried Chicken & Gravy

Ingredients for Fried Chicken
1/2 cup canola oil
1 chicken, cut up (you can do this yourself or purchase chicken already cut-up)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Ingredients for Gravy
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
10-14 ounces chicken broth or stock
2 pinches (about 1/4 teaspoon) of garlic salt

Directions for Fried Chicken

1.  Skin the chicken and remove any extra fat and place in a large bowl. 
2.  Start heating your oil in a pan over medium heat.
3. While the oil is heating, add half of the flour over the chicken, toss chicken to coat, add more flour and continue to toss chicken, repeating as necessary.  You want a good coating of flour on the chicken.

4.  Prior to adding the chicken to the pan , make sure the oil is hot.  You can do this by sprinkling a little flour in the oil, if it sizzles the oil is ready.

5.  Add chicken very carefully to the oil, sprinkle half of the garlic salt on the exposed side of the chicken – you will sprinkle the other side with garlic salt after you turn it in about 15-20 minutes.  (Set aside flour – you can use it in the gravy below)

6.  Turn chicken about every 15-20 minutes and remember to sprinkle the rest of the garlic salt on the chicken after the first turn. Make sure to tilt the pan to ensure the grease is dispersed evenly under the chicken.  When you are turning the chicken, also rotate the pieces around the pan to ensure they cook evenly.

You will need to adjust chicken pieces to ensure all sides have cooked in the oil and become crispy. 

7.  Chicken will cook anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours, this depends on your pan.  You should not see any blood – this indicates the chicken will need longer to cook.
8.  When chicken is done, place a few paper towels on a plate and place chicken on the paper towels to drain. Set aside the pan with grease and see below for instructions on making gravy.

Directions for Chicken Gravy
1.  Slowly start to pour grease from the pan into a bowl, you want to keep the drippings which are the little pieces left over from frying the chicken. It is okay if a little grease is still mixed in the with the drippings.  Make sure to wipe the pan off so any grease that dripped will not catch fire.  Set aside grease – once cooled you can discard this.

2. Heat drippings on medium-high and add about 7 ounces of chicken broth to the drippings.

3. Slowly add the chicken broth to 1/8 cup of flour mixing until you have a nice smooth mixture.

4.  Make sure the drippings mixture is hot enough before pouring in the flour mixture.  To do this, add just a little of the flour/broth mixture to the drippings mixture, if little lumps form it is hot enough.  Slowly add the rest of the flour mixture, stirring continuously.

5.  Turn heat down to medium heat and continue to stir.
6.  You may need to add a little more broth/flour mixture (just make some more up using the leftover flour and broth) to the gravy if it is not thick enough or you may need to thin it out by adding broth.  This is all up to your preference on how thick you like your gravy. 

And as my Nanny always said….Mangia!
Lindsay Lou
Source:  Nanny (Rosie) via Mrs. V (Hoosier Baker’s Mama)

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