Mean Chef's Southern Fried Chicken and Gravy

READY IN: 45mins
Recipe by Jeff Hixson

Originally posted by Mean Chef.

Top Review by Lutie

Being from Kentucky, fried chicken has always been a mainstay on our table. This is the same recipe my family has used for generations with the exception of adding 1 teaspoon of paprika to the flour and using Crisco (used to use lard) to fry it in. The cook for my grandmother taught me to put 2 tablespoons of water in the hot fat towards the end of frying and immediately cover it with the lid to make sure it stayed moist. After the sputtering quits, then remove the lid to let the chicken "crisp up". This trick has always worked for me, but make sure you do not have your fat too close to the top of the skillet or it will be a mess.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine 3 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl; add chicken pieces.
  2. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.
  3. Or cover chicken pieces with buttermilk and refrigerate for 8 hours - if you want to be adventurous, add a 1 or 2 cups of hot sauce to the buttermilk when you marinate.
  4. Drain chicken; rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
  5. Combine 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle half of mixture over all sides of chicken - for the adventurous you can add 1 stp or more of cayenne or cajun spice to the flour mixture .
  6. Combine remaining mixture and flour in a gallon-size, heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag.
  7. Place 2 pieces of chicken in bag; seal.
  8. Shake to coat completely.
  9. Remove chicken, and repeat procedure with remaining pieces.
  10. Combine vegetable oil and bacon drippings in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or chicken fryer; heat to 360ºF.
  11. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, skin side down.
  12. Cover and cook 6 minutes; uncover and cook 9 minutes.
  13. Turn chicken pieces; cover and cook 6 minutes.
  14. Uncover and cook 5 to 9 minutes, turning pieces during the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary.
  15. Drain chicken on a paper towel-lined plate placed over a large bowl of hot water.
  16. FOR THE GRAVY: Pour off pan drippings, reserving 1/4 cup drippings in skillet.
  17. Place skillet over medium heat.
  18. Add flour to drippings, stirring constantly, until browned.
  19. Add milk gradually; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly (about 3 to 5 minutes).
  20. Stir in salt and pepper.
  21. Serve immediately.
  22. Yield: 1 2/3 cups.
  23. Note: If you are using the buttermilk marinade, you can flour the chicken first, dip in the marinade and flour again.

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