French Fried Chicken

French Fried Chicken

It always amuses me to see recipe for things like French Chocolate Pancakes, French Crullers or a “French” Watermelon Cooler. I guess adding the word “French” makes things seem more appealing…unless they’re using French chocolate or French watermelon, then they have the right to call it that, and I’ll allow it. But I remember the look on his face when I was trying to explain to my French (no quotation marks needed) other half, that green beans cut on the diagonal are called “French-cut” in America – even though I can’t say that I’ve ever seen green beans cut on the diagonal in France. (Although I have seen things called “Américain,” that don’t bear any resemblance to anything I’ve ever seen in America. So it goes both ways.)

French Fried Chicken

Yes, I know that fried chicken isn’t typically considered French – busted! Although you occasionally see poulet pané (breaded and deep-fried) or poulet nuggets in freezer cases or on the elementary school menus that they post outside the schools in France. However when I was in Virginia and we were discussing a local fried chicken joint, I saw a French woman’s eyes light up at the mention of those crispy pieces of poulet, and we both looked at each other with awe and amazement (and mutual admiration), and knew we had to have it. And a few days later, we found ourselves sitting at a picnic table, digging our teeth into crunchy pieces of fried chicken, with happy grins – and lots of little tidbits of crust scattering every which way – all around.

French Fried Chicken

Since my publisher follows my blog, a few days after my trip to Charlottesville, a copy of Fried Chicken: Recipes for the Crispy, Crunchy, Comfort-Food Classic by Rebecca Lang arrived in my mailbox.

French Fried Chicken

I jokingly asked if each copy came with a clean-up person, to deal with the aftermath. But when I read through the book, each and every picture looked like something I wanted to make. And Rebecca even gave a great tip for avoiding a mess when frying up chicken, that worked like a charm.

French Fried Chicken

Sure enough, when all was said and done, and my chicken was fried, I crumpled up the foil, and tossed it in the recycling bin. It was less mess than frying up a duck breast or a pan of fried potatoes as I normally do, with grease and fat flying every which way.

French Fried Chicken

As you can see, her technique of covering the surrounding surfaces with foil perhaps made me look like a madman (hey, at least I wasn’t wearing any on my head…), but I got the last laugh when I walked away from the project after I was done frying, and enjoyed my platter of fried chicken without having to worry about a big clean-up after I finished.

I never thought about fried chicken as having so many variations, and Rebecca’s book, Fried Chicken, featured many of them from various countries via recipes culled from Brazil, Korea, Japan, India, and Thailand. Omitted, however, is a recipe from France.

French Fried Chicken

I supposed I could have followed her recipe for Chicken Luxurious, which is fried in duck fat. Or Tangy Fried Chicken that’s slathered with Dijon mustard before frying. Or I could have sliced the fried chicken breasts on the bias, like French-cut green beans.

French Fried Chicken

But I decided to cobble together my own Frenchified fried chicken and use duck fat for frying my chicken. Because people like to quarrel about these things (for whatever reason…) there’s some discussion about what’s the best fat for frying chicken. I decide I would nip the lard-versus-oil debate in the bud with grasse de canard, which keeps the tattooed bro’ cooks at bay. And besides, what gives you more than deep-frying cred than frying in duck fat?

In addition to the duck fat, I had dutifully bought a chicken that was élevé en liberté (free-range, and yes, I rendered my own duck fat, too.) Then I cut it up and soaked it overnight in lait ribot (buttermilk) and Dijon mustard, then dredged the pieces in flour and cornmeal. The fat got melted in my all-American cast iron skillet, then I set to work frying.

French Fried Chicken

True, fried chicken is a bit of a project, and not everyone is going to have duck fat on hand (so you can use a oil if you prefer, such as peanut or canola – or lard), although if you live in France, duck fat is sold in most supermarkets so we have easy access to it. And now that I’ve made fried chicken French, perhaps we’ll be seeing Fried Chicken in duck fat sold by the bucket (a “French” bucket, of course…), in France now?

French Fried Chicken
Print Recipe
Four servings
Adapted from Fried Chicken by Rebecca Lang I cut my chicken into eight pieces; two legs, two thighs, two breasts and two wings. If your chicken is large, you can cut the breasts crosswise into two pieces, leaving the wings attached, or you can cut them off if they’re large, for a total of 10 pieces. I used duck fat, which is a luxury in some places. You can use canola oil for frying the chicken if you wish. I used about 2 cups (500g) of duck fat. (In her book, Rebecca discussed the different frying fats and which works best for what recipe and result.) I worked in two batches, since only four pieces fit in my pan at a time. I did find that I had quite a bit of the flour/cornmeal mixture leftover, which may be because French chickens are leaner than their American counterparts. If you wish, make the flour/cornmeal mixture and set about one-quarter of it aside. As you toss the chicken, if you need more, use it. Otherwise reserve it and use it in another baking project. (Update: A commenter recommended using it in case you make gravy.)
1 whole skin-on chicken, cut into 8 or 10 pieces (see headnote)
1 3/4 cups (430ml) buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 1/2 cups (490g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (140g) cornmeal
2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
a few generous turns freshly ground black pepper
Duck fat or canola oil, for frying
1. Put the chicken in a zip top bag with the buttermilk marinade ingredients: the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, Dijon, buttermilk and cayenne. Massage everything together, seal the bag, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
2. When ready to fry, set two wire racks over two baking sheets. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a paper bag or a large bowl. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk brine and coat them with the flour mixture, working a few pieces at a time, making sure the pieces are thoroughly coated. (Toss them in the closed bag, or use your hands and toss them in the bowl.) Gently shake off some of the excess flour and set them on one of the wire racks over a baking sheet.
3. In a large, heavy skillet, such as cast iron, heat about 1 1/4-inch (4cm) of duck fat or canola oil. If using a deep-fry thermometer, the temperature should read 350ºF (180ºC) when ready to fry.
4. Carefully place as many pieces of the chicken as will fit in the pan without crowding it, skin side down. The temperature will decrease but try to keep the temperature of the oil around 325ºF (162ºC) as you fry.
5. Fry the chicken until the bottom is nicely browned, then use tongs to turn the chicken over and fry until the other side is browned and crisp. The chicken will take about 20 to 25 minutes to cook, total, and if you want to verify that it’s cooked, cut into the thigh piece near the bone; if the juices run clear, it’s done.
6. As the chicken is done, remove the pieces and set them on the wire rack. Use a slotted spoon or strainer to skin the fat or oil of stray pieces of chicken, so they don’t burn, then fry the remaining pieces of chicken.

Never miss a post!

75 comments

  • itskini
    July 13, 2015 2:31pm

    Hi David!
    I just moved from Orange County to Paris permanently five months ago and your blog has been a life saver! I really appreciate your comparison especially when it comes to ingredients and their french name. I was wondering if you could occasionally mention where you buy specific ingredients since it always seems to look better quality than what I can find. Thank you again so much for all you do!

  • July 13, 2015 4:47pm

    Aha one of those “why didn’t I think of that moment”!! I now have a newly found respect for the kitchen foil :)

    One thing about fried chicken David, is that it tastes even better when torn into with bare hands. No fancy cutlery need be on hand :)

  • Emily
    July 13, 2015 5:10pm

    I love fried chicken but I’ve never made it at home. Excuse a probably novice question: what does one do with the leftover fat? I imagine you can’t pour it down the sink! Do you bottle it up and throw it out with the rest of the rubbish?

    This chicken looks delicious – it may very well tempt me to deep fry for the first time…

  • July 13, 2015 5:16pm
    David Lebovitz

    Emily: If the oil still smells good, you can strain it through a fine mesh sieve, refrigerate it, and use it for something else. When it’s time to dispose of the oil/fat, it should not be tossed down the drain as it can clog your drain and is bad for the environment, but should go in the trash. (Although I’m sure others have some sort of uses for it…) I let it cool then put it into a used coffee can, or similar vessel, then throw it away.

    itskini: I do mention where I get things from time-to-time, but you can check my post Ingredients for American Baking in Paris, which is a guide to common ingredients and their French counterparts.

    • itskini
      July 14, 2015 12:33pm

      thank you!

    • Carol
      July 14, 2015 12:47pm

      I had heard that to “refresh” oil that has been used to deep fry battered foods, to cut a potato in shoestring style fries, and deep fry it(no rinsing off the starch just cut and fry). It really does refresh the oil, and clean it, especially if frying spices which have discolored the oil, like turmeric or paprika. The fries will have tiny dark specks on them; I do this as well as strain oil thru a linen clot, to get any larger pieces of batter. Another tip for clean frying is of course to shake off excess flour before frying, I put the chicken pieces on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet and tap the cookie sheet on th counter top. Then, the oil is suitable for several more uses.

  • L. Young
    July 13, 2015 5:38pm

    Great recipe David!

    We always had this at our house. My mom used lard to fry it in.

    We always thought this was a “poor man’s” dinner! My Mom would make coleslaw, biscuits, lemonade and we were in “heaven!”
    I am going to try this weekend…

  • Linda
    July 13, 2015 5:44pm

    I have been using the cover-unused-burners-with-foil method for years. I learned this from my mother. I take it one step further and save used, smoothed out and neatly folded foil in a kitchen drawer. It stays relatively clean for three or four uses. I do use only heavy duty foil and it saves many hours scrubbing the stove.

  • Bob
    July 13, 2015 5:45pm

    my eyes just about popped out when I saw all of that foil covering your cooking area. More than once you’ve made mention of how hard it is to get good foil in France. Can I assume you were using the fragile French foil?

  • July 13, 2015 5:47pm

    Love your blog – been following since I got your cookbook as a gift!
    One comment – you are supposed to use the “leftover” flour mixture to make gravy ; )

  • July 13, 2015 5:49pm
    David Lebovitz

    Linda and Bob: I save and reuse foil as much as I can. (You’ll notice two of the pieces have been used a number of times.) As Bob noted, the foil in France is extremely thin and I keep American foil on hand, since it can be used multiple times (the local stuff often tears into shreds when I pull it off the roll, so sometimes, I can’t even use it once…) but it works really well, whatever kind of foil you use.

  • July 13, 2015 5:55pm

    That makes my mouth water!
    I love the tin foil idea. Definitely going to give that a try.

  • Ton
    July 13, 2015 6:00pm

    David, did you skip a step about the buttermilk brine–is that the first two ingredients? Thank you!

  • Kathleen
    July 13, 2015 6:01pm

    French toast, French fries, French kiss, French condom … maybe we can chalk these terms up to a bad case of Gaulic envy. Whatever their etymological origins, Americans have always made a great skillet of fried chicken. Your version with Dijon mustard and duck fat is positively inspired.

  • Alexandra
    July 13, 2015 6:03pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I love fried chicken and rarely make it but now I want to. I can appreciate your aluminum foil technique to make clean up easier since the mess made from frying is one of the downsides. I would absolutely use duck fat, or alternatively, grass-fed beef lard or red palm oil. But I never, ever use canola oil anymore now that I know just what a bill of goods we’ve been sold about it and how many negative health effects it can be responsible for. It is a cheap “industrial” oil that has been chemically processed. Read up on it. It’s scary stuff.

  • Martha
    July 13, 2015 6:04pm

    Hmmm…looks like good ol’ Southern Fried chicken to me – and it looks delicious!

  • July 13, 2015 6:09pm

    I love the idea of using duck fat. I can imagine it adding richness and flavor. The next time I fry any kind of chicken I will use duck fat. Has it cooled down in Paris? It was very hot when I was there a couple of weeks ago. I had lunch at Pottoka, thanks for the tip.

  • anne lutkus
    July 13, 2015 6:11pm

    you can recycle such greasy foil in France?

  • Samantha
    July 13, 2015 6:44pm

    As usual, your post made me fall to the floor laughing! I am now going over to Hoover’s for fried chicken, collards, and cornbread! Thanks for your wonderful posts!

  • Caroline Ducato
    July 13, 2015 6:54pm

    Hi David! How long did you brine the chicken in the buttermilk? I might have been reading too fast but seems like you jumped to “removing chicken from the brine” in step #1.
    Thank you!

  • Doug M
    July 13, 2015 7:34pm

    Following Caroline and Ton, which ingredients are for the “buttermilk marinade?” I assume ingredients 1-5, but you recipe is not clear.
    Thanks!

  • July 13, 2015 7:53pm

    It’s all there, step 1:
    “Put the chicken in a zip top bag with the buttermilk marinade ingredients; the salt, pepper, Dijon, buttermilk and cayenne.”
    Cheers! :-)

  • July 13, 2015 8:27pm
    David Lebovitz

    Caroline, Doug, Ton+Merisi: Sorry, there were a bunch of things going on in the back-end of the site (the coding and pixels for the photos needed to be recoded and changed as the pictures were all pixilated, and I couldn’t figure out the html code for a break between the ingredients in the ingredient list – then I couldn’t get into the back end of the site…oof), so was working on getting all that figured out. I finally did, and the marinade ingredients get put together with the chicken and refrigerated 8 hours or overnight. Thanks for your patience and enjoy! : )

  • Sandy
    July 13, 2015 8:36pm

    We use newspapers to cover the stove, then throw it in the recycle box. Cheaper than foil.

    • July 13, 2015 8:50pm
      David Lebovitz

      A problem with newspaper is that it can catch on fire, especially if using a gas stove. Many things are flammable so whatever is used, including foil, which should not be in contact with a direct flame.

    • april
      July 13, 2015 8:55pm

      newspapers…on a lit stove…?

    • Linda
      July 13, 2015 11:50pm

      I would never use newspaper. I have a gas stove and it’s too dangerous. And the foil is also recyclable.

    • terri
      July 14, 2015 2:51am

      Please don’t recycle greasy newspapers (or any paper product, such as pizza boxes, that has grease on it). Oil is considered a contaminant in the recycling process and can “ruin” the whole batch of recycling. (Oil/grease is not a problem for recycling plastic, glass, or metal.)

      • hannah M.
        August 2, 2015 1:06am

        Thank you for telling us. It’s very good to know, and I for one, had not heard this before.

  • July 13, 2015 9:17pm

    Who doesn’t love fried chicken, and so many ways to make it. Buttermilk I agree in a good brine. I too use foil on my stove top, for anything that splatters, including tomato sauce; it’s a life-saver when you cook a lot…cleanup can be such a burden.

  • Linn
    July 13, 2015 9:29pm

    When I used to fry chicken I used a round lid that was made of a thick mesh — very cheap and placed it on top of the pan. Since it was mesh it wasn’t really like a lid — more of a screen that kept the chicken oil from splattering all over the kitchen. I don’t know what happened to it or if if you can still buy them.

  • Linn
    July 13, 2015 9:32pm

    The mesh lids are called splatter screens and Amazon sell them.

    • David B.
      August 1, 2015 1:18pm

      Those screens are sold in every supermarché in France. A whole lot easier than aluminum foil.

  • Jackie
    July 13, 2015 9:37pm

    This has nothing to do with fried chicken! I made fresh mint ice cream from your ice cream book yesterday and I couldn’t believe something could taste so perfect. OK, I’ll make a link: the chix will be a wonderful lead in to the incredible ice cream. Thanks for sharing your genius.

  • Bruce
    July 13, 2015 9:44pm

    When I deep fry I cover the counter with construction paper (lumber store about $11/40′ roll) and use a 1800 watt Dux Top. The Dux Top works under the paper or just cut a hole for it, and clean up is less than 30 seconds. I am talking about egg, milk, panko, oil, just be careful and gather up the paper and into the trash.

  • Bruce
    July 13, 2015 9:46pm

    Question; does powdered buttermilk work in deep fry recipes??

  • Bernadette
    July 13, 2015 9:58pm

    Hi David,

    I read somewhere that “French” was synonymous with “fancy”, perhaps a nod to extra steps in the preparation. I am still loving & enjoying rave reviews for your Asian Ginger-Soy Chicken. But this looks terrific.

  • Linda H
    July 13, 2015 10:00pm

    Pan fried chicken= Sunday dinner in the Midwest US. Yours looks great!

  • Grant
    July 13, 2015 10:06pm

    I make this dish–with duck fat– regularly. The clan loves it. I use only boneless/skinless breasts. I trim off a triangle from the narrow end and thin down the thick end a bit, then cut the piece in two, crosswise. (The trim off becomes nuggets for the little kids.) The result is two pieces that are almost the same size. This simplifies the frying–all pieces cook evenly in the same time frame. I use a buttermilk brine, 5% salt by weight. I coat the chicken pieces with seasoned flour. I too try to keep the fat at about 325F. It is absolutely delicious. I get a big bucket of duck fat periodically from the deli section of a local wine merchant. They order it for me from one of their purveyors. It is not terribly expensive. I filter the used fat through a sieve lined with one layer of ordinary paper towel. It comes out crystal clear. I refrigerate it in a jar for reuse next time. Since you “lose” (uhh, eat) some fat with each batch, you add some fresh fat each time, and eventually it all gets used up. Of course there are other uses for duck fat. Like french fries. Or duck confit. All highly recommended.

  • Steve Slade
    July 13, 2015 10:53pm

    David,

    Love your blog and the foil idea is genius! Small thing, if you cut the breasts in half but leave the wings attached, you would have 8 pieces, not 10.
    Steve Slade

  • Marguerite
    July 13, 2015 10:54pm

    I’ve puzzled over the term “French green beans” for a long time. I wonder if it’s possible that when “frenched,” the beans more closely resemble the the thin, French haricots vertes, which were not generally available in the US until relatively recently. Just a thought.

    • Cathy
      July 15, 2015 4:18pm

      When I was young we “frenched” our beans by slicing them lengthwise. I guess the looked like haricots vertes…we even had a handy tool on the end of the peeler for this!

      • Marguerite
        July 15, 2015 4:29pm

        Exactly! I declare that mystery solved.

      • Bruce
        July 15, 2015 6:27pm

        Ok, the go to deep fry setup is a granite counter and a GE monogram induction flush mounted cooktop. You place parchment paper over the cooktop to protect it and use a cast iron pot. Clean up is a spray bottle and a squeegee for the entire area.

        As to french cut, I always have read that is beans cut on a bias, i.e. slanted.

  • LynSeley
    July 14, 2015 12:58am

    Can you make this ahead of time, ie afternoon for a dinner party at night. Or picnic lunch?

  • July 14, 2015 1:47am

    I love the addition of the mustard to the brine. I have to try this recipe! I’m sorry to say I’m a fried chicken junkie….

  • July 14, 2015 2:24am

    The foil – I thought I was the only one that mastered that technique. Especially helpful when latke time comes around. Love the recipe….

  • Angela
    July 14, 2015 3:09am

    Fried chicken is my absolute favorite. However, I am just not willing to do the clean up. So I drive down to Wayside, as I live just north of C’ville to get my fix. Wish there was a recipe for oven “fried chicken” that was just as good. That, I would make.

  • JoeB
    July 14, 2015 3:24am

    My qualm about deep frying is what to do with the “dirty” oil. Any suggestions other than throw it away?

    • Bruce
      July 14, 2015 4:07am

      I use the oil for 4 or 5 deep fry meals, doing shrimp or fish last. After cooking I let it cool then pour everything but the last half cup ( leaving the dregs) into a large Ziploc Tupperware container and into the fridge. Final disposition of the oil goes into the garbage in an empty kitty litter can

  • Pam
    July 14, 2015 4:20am

    Thank you! I prefer cold fried chicken so maybe lard tastes better. Laughed about foil, I do that for any messy project already. If you cook a lot any
    cleanup shortcut is terrific.
    You didn’t mention but I cut off wing tips too, they get too dried up in cooking for me anyway.
    Great article!

  • baruch fishler
    July 14, 2015 8:10am

    Hello david!!!
    Do you ever visit Israel ? ……..

  • Jess
    July 14, 2015 11:59am

    Hi David –

    This looks amazing! I’m such a fried chicken addict – I can recommend Adam Liaw’s recipe for Laksa Fried Chicken with Mint sauce if you haven’t already tried it. I had a look for Rebecca Lang’s book on amazon and it looks great, but I was wondering if you would recommend it as a buy? There seems to be a massive amount of choice in fried chicken books out there, haha, and I can’t buy all of them (well I can, but then I would be fat, and broke).

    Cheers

  • Carol
    July 14, 2015 1:31pm

    Reading one of the comments below put me in mind of a conversation I had with my mother when I was coming of age. My grandmother had like many families of her time, several children(9), so, I asked my mother why that was so common back then especially for the cost of so many mouths to feed, no appliances to help the housewives etc….what sort of contraceptives were there back then anyhow? Well, I laughed till I cried when she mentioned “French Safes”, I had never heard of that in school hygiene classes or any where else for that matter; what we’re those, I asked. Condoms, she informed me. I laughed some more, she got laughing and nearly drove the car off the road. She didn’t’t know why they were called that. After I calmed down, I thought about where I was(Canada) and wondered if it was an (insulting) regional name, given the centuries old bitter rivalry betwixt French and English(Canadians) since the war at the Plaines d’Abraham and the expulsion of the Acadians(to Louisianna, some of which have returned). Which said rivalry has culminated into a referendum in French speaking Quebec, attempting to separate from Canada and become a sovereign nation, twice in the past forty years(the second referendum clearly showed that few people of Quebec wanted this, the “separatists” are officially a fringe group). At one time English truck drivers crossed into the American border to avoid Quebec as they would not get service from French persons in English(even if the person could speak the language). In the 1990s being totally unaware of any danger, I went on a government sponsored French language initiative program to Montreal, to better my French skills. Unaware of any danger I bought a touristy sweater with the fleur-de-lis on it, and a logo that translated, said, I love MY Quebec, and wore it to the Stade Olympique to a Montreal vs. Florida ball game. I was told in all seriousness that being an Englisher wearing that political sweater, I could get beat up! Well, thankfully those days of angst seem to be over! And, while the danger was indeed real the sentiments were not felt by ALL French Quebecers. Anyway…….I am wondering if any of the readers have heard of this nickname for condoms, is this common, or a regional thing???? Cheers :)

    • Sylvia
      July 20, 2015 7:16pm

      In the US in the old days, condoms were known as “French letters.” I think it was just because the French were supposed to be so sexy and sexual.

      I want me some fried chicken! (But not in canola oil, please, it tastes so nasty when it gets hot.)

  • July 14, 2015 6:53pm

    All things French: They probably are about as authentic as all things called “Swiss” (Swiss rolls I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole, Swiss chocolate made in any country but Switzerland, Emmental cheese made from truck tires, etc etc)! I guess it’s just making stuff sounding more exotic/sexy, isn’t it?!
    Foil: I – honest to God – did that already since knowing about BBQ – just took the idea over to my gas stoves. It sadly doesn’t work at all on my electric ceramic hobs I’m using in my 4 last homes…. But they clean so easily that the whole thing isn’t a problem. You can even put newspaper on the hob without the least danger as the cooking surface is strictly limited to the diameter you use.
    Those chicken pics made me ravenous – you just CAN’T buy that here in a decent quality. I honestly think that my last wonderful fried chicken was had in the Seventies when I was in Canada/USA as a very young woman!!!! And KFC is but a sad nightmare when you’ve had the ‘real’ stuff.
    Thanks for this crisp post. Love it

  • July 14, 2015 11:40pm

    This looks really scrumptious! :)

  • Hillary
    July 15, 2015 2:03am

    The foil is a great idea! I’ve lately been “grilling” corn on the cob right on the open flame of my gas stove, which makes a nice blackened corn but also a big mess on the back of the stove…

  • July 15, 2015 2:05am

    ‘Throw me in the river’… This is delicious looking. The Dijon mustard idea is brilliant! The foil idea is a definite, “YES”…

    (Hint share….when cleaning an outdoor grill, wad up about a foot of aluminum foil, set blaze to the coals or gas, and while using the long set of tongs, scrub away with that piece of the wadded-up foil.)

  • July 15, 2015 1:14pm

    Wow. Chicken fried in duck fat. It seems so wrong but looks so right…

    And covering the stove in foil = genius

  • Beatrice
    July 15, 2015 2:28pm

    David,

    I have LOVED your blog for years. Your journal makes me smile and laugh; and it gives me so many ideas for cooking, eating – and life. You are delightful.
    (Here it comes…)
    Your new version makes me crazy. The new ‘thing’ of blogs and websites automatically running video upon entry makes loading jerky and difficult to enjoy once you are irritated – trying to scoot down to the good bit and getting thrown back to the top because everything is loading.
    And I have opened – then clicked “more” and minimized so I can go back after it is loaded. But, every time I click on a new page, which I do often on yours, I gotta wait again. argh!
    I will always come back, but it will no longer be as often.
    Please consider a simple, no frills version with perhaps one or two pictures max for those of us who just want to read your wisdom?
    With much love and admiration…
    B

  • July 15, 2015 4:37pm

    My understanding of French cut green beans, is that French refers to the type of green bean, the wider flat ones, not the diagonal…je ne comprends pas bien…

  • Janice
    July 15, 2015 6:17pm

    I didn’t see that anyone suggested this in the comments, and it’s been a godsend for me — someone once told me to fry my potato latkes (pancakes) in a cast iron pan on my grill. I’ve never gone back — anything I want to fry, I fry in a skillet on the grill. The stove stays clean and there’s no residual smell from the frying.

  • July 16, 2015 5:36am

    i love fried chicken so, so much. i’m the only person in my house that does so i don’t get to eat it nearly often enough. i’m going to make this for my family soon though and they will just have to deal!

  • Jennie
    July 17, 2015 3:26pm

    Just made this. It tasted wonderful but in order for it to be cooked through it got much darker than your pictures. The duck fat made the difference.

  • Len
    July 19, 2015 4:20am

    David, thank you so much. Now I feel better because I always put foil around the pan when frying! I thought I was obsessive! The recipe looks awesome and I will try it soon.
    Re the leftover fat, I usually discard it in my garden compost it does no harm.
    Love your newsletters.

  • July 19, 2015 7:53am

    Je pense que le mot Français évoque premièrement l’Art de la gastronomie française et certainement la recherche de l’authentique

  • Linda Carroll
    July 19, 2015 11:15pm

    Hello David,

    Thank you so much for posting the very best recipe for deep fried chicken ever! Hands down winner. No other recipes need apply.

    Yours truly,

    Linda

  • Nicole
    July 23, 2015 9:39pm

    To be honest using a large wok to fry chicken (be French or American) works really well and there is no grease to clean up – 1/2 can of shorting should bring the grease up to less than 1/2 fullness of the wok. Oil hot put the largest pieces in first using tongs – fry until brown on underside – turn chicken over and cook until done 20 minutes total. Put cooked fried chicken in a paper bag lined in newspaper with one paper towel on top – roll the brown paper bag closed to keep it hot and fry the next batch (like the wings and drumsticks). It works great and there is only a brown bag to throw away.

    • Carol
      July 24, 2015 11:51pm

      This is what I do! My mum gave me an electric wok when I was in uni because I was a big fan of stir fries. Now(20 years later), I don’t stir fry so much, I use my wok mostly as a deep fryer. It is so clean! Plus, if I had a gas stove I would be terrified of starting a grease fire as I am so clumsy. Woks are so clean to use, aren’t they?

  • Kathleen
    July 29, 2015 10:56am

    Can’t wait to try this! My sister fries her chicken on the grill outside in a cast iron skillet. Very easy clean up! No grease in the kitchen or lingering grease smell!

  • Jan Blasi
    August 2, 2015 11:00pm

    Hi David,
    I will be hosting a group of 11 soon but need to have most food prepared in advance. Do you believe the French Fried Chicken can we refrigerated and reheated successfully?
    Jan

    • August 3, 2015 3:00pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know about reheating fried chicken, but it’s good eaten cold. You could refer to Rebecca’s website, linked in the post, and see if she has any guidance on reheating fried chicken there.

  • Dan T
    August 3, 2015 7:34am

    My understanding is that “frenching” once generically meant to cut things into thin strips — my assumption is it’s a derivative from a julienne. Same etymology as “French fries.”

  • Robert
    August 8, 2015 11:03pm

    The fact that the bird was ‘élevé en liberté’ is no doubt what makes it French fried chicken :)