How to Make Fried Chicken in a Cast Iron Pan

Fried chicken is delicious and easy to make in a cast-iron skillet. Cast-irons skillets are especially good for frying chicken (you can even find some cast-iron skillets called “chicken fryers”). Get your cast-iron skillet out and ready to fry some chicken:

  1. Wash the chicken pieces.

    Pat them dry after you rinse them.

  2. Dip the chicken pieces in milk and then dredge them in a mix of flour, salt, pepper, and paprika.

    To get the chicken really well-coated, let the chicken stand for 20 minutes and dredge in flour again.

  3. Heat oil or shortening in a deep cast-iron skillet or a Dutch oven on medium-high heat to 375 degrees F.

    Use an instant read thermometer to test the temperature now and throughout cooking.

  4. Add four to five pieces of chicken to the skillet, browning both sides.

    Be careful not to add so much chicken at one time that the oil temperature drops significantly. Turn and move the chicken as necessary to ensure even browning.

  5. If you have more chicken, move the chicken in the skillet to a platter and add the next four to five pieces of chicken.

    Cook them until they’re brown, too.

  6. Return all the chicken to the skillet, reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and cover.

    At this point, stacking the chicken in the skillet may be necessary.

  7. Cook slowly and gently for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.

    Check the chicken several times and turn or move the pieces as necessary to keep all the chicken browned evenly.

  8. Remove the cover and return the heat to medium-high to re-crisp the chicken, about 5 minutes after the skillet is hot again.

    While re-crisping, watch the chicken carefully and turn the pieces so that all sides are crisp, taking care not to burn the bottom pieces of chicken.

  9. Move the chicken to a serving platter.

    Tongs work best to pick up fried chicken pieces.

If you’re not going to eat it right away, you can place the platter on a rack in the oven to keep warm.

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